(HawaiiNewsNow) - How many times have we heard about elderly people being taken advantage of through some type of fraud? Our kupuna are often easy targets for scammers and any of us who care for seniors should know how to help them prevent being scammed. Stanford Ono, Branch Manager of Bank of Hawaii's Kalihi Branch is here with some tips.
What are some basic things seniors should be aware of in order to protect themselves against fraud?
Some of these tips are also good for all of us as well. But things such as protecting your personal information: PINs, social security numbers. This information in conjunction with your name and birthdate or address gives the fraudsters everything they need to commit identity theft, often without the victim even knowing it. Sadly, fraud of seniors is often committed by family members or other acquaintances.
Why are seniors such a big target?
Several factors may seniors attractive targets:
* They often have more money saved and stored in bank or investment accounts
* Most have excellent account histories (high balances, no overdrafts)
* Many are very "trusting"
* Some who have ailments may have diminished capacity and increased need to rely on others making them susceptible or vulnerable
What's an example of a common scam? .
Scams often go in cycles but the fake lottery or sweepstakes is one that seems to be very common and one that seniors seem to fall for. Who wouldn't love to win a lottery? In these scams the perpetrators contact the victim and convince them that they've won a lottery - usually in a foreign country. Prior to sending the winnings, however, they advise that the country's laws require payment for taxes or transfer fees upfront and prior to receiving the funds. Some seniors gladly send them the fee only to later discover that the lottery was a scam.
It never hurts to be overly cautious. But if you think you've been a victim be sure to notify the police and your bank so they can take appropriate action.
We have a couple fraud awareness seminars coming up that are free to the public. You can check our website for a schedule: www.boh.com/seminars.