Cyber criminals are very skilled in singling out vulnerable targets for online schemes. For instance, senior citizens are ideal candidates for cyber fraud or Internet fraud because they are more likely to have large amounts of money saved up, and they tend to have better credit, making schemes more profitable for criminals. If you are a senior citizen, or you know of an elder consumer who was a victim of Internet fraud, please contact us today to discuss available legal remedies and protections.
Why Are Senior Citizens Ideal Targets for Internet Fraud?
Older American citizens are often not familiar with the methods available to report fraud. Also, they are hesitant to report fraud because they are worried their relatives will decide they are no longer able to handle their own finances. Unfortunately, failure to report cyber crime immediately leads to a loss of evidence, and makes it very easy for cyber criminals to disappear without a trace. Furthermore, the more time that passes between the crime and prosecution, the more details and evidence are lost to memory. Cyber criminals depend on elder citizens’ weakened memory because the loss of evidence also prevents effective prosecution, and cyber criminals are able to walk away without punishment.
What are Some Common Forms of Internet Fraud Directed at Senior Citizens?
Common forms of cyber fraud directed at senior citizens include health care fraud, health insurance fraud, funeral and cemetery fraud, fraudulent anti-aging product schemes, and telemarketing fraud. In the case of online fraud dealing with medical products and insurance, cyber criminals will offer free products or services to elder consumers, only to charge insurers in the future. Once the insurance company fails to cover the cost, the consumer is left with the bill. Sometimes, fraudulent schemes will offer unnecessary tests to senior citizens, or gain access to their records and charge them for services that were never performed. Telemarketing is another form of common Internet fraud directed at the elderly. People over the age of sixty, and especially single, elderly women, are targets for telemarketing fraud. Such schemes include offering fake goods or services, often offering free prizes to lure in unsuspecting consumers, and charging the consumer without ever providing the good or service.
How Can Senior Citizens Protect Against Cyber Fraud?
By following certain precautions, elder citizens can help protect themselves against Internet fraud. For instance, senior citizens can take care to never sign blank forms, or review all insurance benefit statements to ensure they are familiar with their insurance coverage. Also, legitimate companies will tend to be more willing to provide as much information as a consumer requests. Companies that hesitate to provide information and urge consumers to sign up to not miss out on a deadline tend to be fraudulent. In addition, while it is important to have a contact person when corresponding with a company, be aware that asking for a contact information and telephone number may not necessarily help prevent fraud because con-artists will give out fake contact information to help perpetuate the fraud. Finally, senior citizens must never hesitate to report cyber crimes while the details are still clear and the criminals have not had a change to get away.
At the Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh, we guide clients in legal matters regarding all aspects of cyber crime and remedies against cyber fraud by using extensive knowledge and skills to create innovative solutions. Please contact us today to set up a free and confidential consultation.