Q. What advice may BBB provide on elder abuse and fraud?
A. It's a timely question since Thursday was Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The issue brings to mind troubling scenarios involving physical mistreatment, but sadly there are other aspects to the problem. The elderly are often victimized by scammers intent on robbing as many of their life savings as possible.
The Better Business Bureau is keenly aware of the problem. Unfortunate stories are reported to BBBs across the nation regarding scams perpetrated on older Americans. Why pick on seniors?
The reasons are many for targeting the elderly. Among them:
Here are some of the most frequently used scams on the elderly:
What are the safeguards?
Seniors should remember to always screen their phone calls, answering or returning the call only if they know the caller.
Under no circumstances should one give out private information to a stranger over the phone or in an email. Any phoned request for a charitable contribution should be ignored or you should tell them to mail you their information first.
For those concerned about an elderly friend or family member, keep these warning signs in mind:
As family, friends and associates, it is our individual responsibility to help the senior demographic.
Jim Winsett is president of the Better Business Bureau in Chattanooga.