There is something galling about seeing a person that has worked hard their entire life having to in essence sleep with one eye open because they have reached a certain age that makes them particularly vulnerable to the predators of our society.
Of course there is no perfect world and all of us regardless of age have to be vigilante. But this watchfulness goes double for senior citizens especially when it comes to something like identity theft. What happened recently in Virginia is a good example. .
According to The News & Advance a forty eight year old woman was sentenced to thirty four months in prison and two years of supervision upon her release. She pleaded guilty to stealing identities of nine elderly victims whom were in her charge at two assisted-living facilities.
The fact that she stole them is bad enough. The fact that she stole from people she was entrusted to care for makes it more reprehensible. There are several reasons why scammers and identity thieves target the elderly .
1. Money All Around
There is a belief among identity thieves that seniors MUST have money. After all they worked for a long period of time and even if they are now residing in as assisted living center, they probably at one time owned their own home and sold it for a nice chunk of money. There are a lot of seniors who just like the working class live form check to check. That however is not what identity thieves want to hear. For them the bottom line is many seniors are sitting on a pot of gold just ripe for the taking.
2. Different Times
There are no good old days like people who have never lived thru that era like to romanticize. Thieves and scam artists have always existed. Yet for countless seniors there was a degree of decorum that is almost foreign to many of us in modern society.
In other words the trust factor was lot higher and the cynicism not so widespread. It is hard to break habits like that. And when the scammers start laying on the sugar talk and feign strong personal interest, more than a few elderly people find that an irresistible combination.
3. Who Are They Going To Tell?
One calculation identity thieves and scam artists make about the elderly is that after they are ripped off they won't say anything. According to statistics they are more often than not exactly right.
Or it may be health issues. Due to their medical history they may not be aware that they have been victimized.
Or they just don't care. Yes they have been swindled but they have not had anyone really pay attention to them for years including their own family. It may have been fake attention but they are grateful just the same.