For some reason people who have been around awhile tend to let their guard down when crooks come a calling.
This is not meant to tar all senior citizens with the same brush or imply that most people over 70 years of age are soft in the brain or easy marks for scammers. That is obviously not the case. Many if not most seniors have razor-sharp minds and keep careful watch over their money.
But not all of them. That is why swindlers often zero in on the white-haired crowd when trying to score a quick buck.
A grandchild in trouble
The swindlers are well aware, for example, that the elderly have deep feelings for their offspring. For that reason older parents sometimes reach for their wallets when a scratchy voice on a long-distance phone call pretends to be a grandchild in trouble.
The con artists also know that many of our finest citizens have lost spouses and loved ones, and those losses make then lonely and vulnerable. Crooks are often patient on this one and can cultivate a relationship for months or even years before taking the money shot.
These days, online courtships are easy and convenient. They can also lead to problems when one of the parties is unscrupulous and has eyes only for cash. Among the websites where caution is advisable when meeting people? Match.com and Christianmingle.com.
Are you shocked by the warning flags involving Christian Mingle? Don’t be. We tend to relax our defenses a bit when dealing with people of our own religion or nationality or who are talking in our preferred language.
Social media ploys
There are a multitude of other ploys used on social media, too numerous to mention here, that can separate older people from their hard-earned money.
One more situation worth mentioning is the old knock on the door. Don’t let a stranger repave the driveway, not even if they tell you that they just finished a job down the street, have some material left over and can offer a special price.
Women and children are often used in this kind of ripoff because they tend to inspire more trust than a man with a dirty shirt and a three-day growth of beard. Man, woman or child, don’t give them an up-front payment.
In general, stay alert in your dealings with people, especially when they involve cash. Drink a cup of coffee or take a vitamin B12 to sharpen the brain pan if necessary.