Different scams target different audiences, but many of them seem to specifically focus on the older generations, those nearing or past retirement. Why do scammers find our parents and grandparents such tempting targets? Well, Boomers and elder members of Gen X are often more financially comfortable than their Millennial and Gen Z counterparts. They may also have less tech savvy, and may be more easily intimidated by ransomware and other extortion scams.
Scam recovery experts Funds-Back LTD recommend that you talk with your parents and grandparents about the common scams that target their generations. Make sure they know the warning signs of a scam, and that they know that they should contact you or another trusted family member if they’re being extorted online or over the phone.
How to Talk to Your Family About Scams
It can be difficult to share such information with our parents and grandparents; the older generation is used to being the dispenser of wisdom, not the recipient. Funds-Back LTD suggests it may be easier to come at the discussion sideways.
Rather than making it clear that you want to warn them, specifically, about scams, you could instead make it seem like you’re just discussing something interesting in the news. If your elders have a sense of humor and love a good prank, you might get the best results by sending them videos of the various scam hunters on YouTube, who track down and prank people who perpetrate online and phone schemes. While watching the bad guys get theirs, they’ll also be learning about the tactics that these people use to perpetuate their frauds.
Model Sympathy for Scam Victims
Many scam victims are afraid to tell their family about what happened, because they feel ashamed for falling for a scheme. Part of this comes from how society talks about scam victims. There’s often a narrative that the people who fall for scams are stupid, greedy, or both.
When talking about the people who are targeted by the latest scams in your area, model sympathy for them. Funds-Back LTD has noted that many of the scams that target older people often prey on their better nature. They either spin stories about how the target has won a prize or can get more out of their retirement funds, often with an angle of how that will give them something they can leave behind for their family. Or in the case of tech support scams, they will play the part of a harried worker who has screwed up and worries their boss will find out; of course your grandmother is going to do whatever she can to protect the job of a young person just like you!
Funds-Back LTD is Here to Help
Another misconception among scam victims is that their money is gone for good. Make sure that your parents and grandparents know that if they ever fall victim to a scam, you will help them try to get their money back. Their bank or credit card may have avenues they can pursue for a refund, and if not, a group like Funds-Back LTD can give them a free consultation to review the facts of their case and determine if they have a good chance to get their money back.