According to the National Consumers League’s National Fraud Information Center, nearly a third of all telemarketing fraud victims are age 60 or older. Studies by AARP show that most older Telemarketing Fraud victims don’t realize that the voice on the phone could belong to someone who is trying to steal their money.
Fraudulent telemarketers rob people every day, using telephones as their weapons. These criminals target seniors primarily because they are generally too polite to simply hang up the phone. It’s a myth that elderly victims are isolated or lonely. On the contrary, many are very active people who, like many younger scam victims, are lured by a great-sounding deal.
Fraudulent telemarketers aren’t simply pushy salespeople trying to earn a living. They are hardened criminals seeking to steal the life savings from their victims. They are very good at what they do (remember, the term “Con” comes from the word “confidence” because of the confidence they are able to build in the victims of their scams). They can con some people into emtying their bank accounts and even mortgage their homes to participate in phony sweepstakes, investment offers, and other schemes. Sometimes they use scare tactics to sell products or services. In other cases, they impersonate well-known companies or charities to trick seniors.
The FBI says that there are thousands of fraudulent telemarketing companies operating in the United States. There are also an increasing number of illegal telemarketers who target U.S. residents from locations in Canada and other countries.
It’s difficult for victims, especially seniors, to think of fraudulent telemarketers’ actions as crimes, rather than hard sells. Many are even reluctant to admit that they have been cheated or robbed by illegal telemarketers.
Seniors, their families, and others who work with older people should understand the menace of Telemarketing Fraud and learn how to strike back. National Consumers League (NCL) offers an online brochure, They Can’t Hang Up, that describes the “red flags of fraud” and provides advice on preventing fraud and assisting victims.
If you, or some one you know has been the victim of fraud or a scam, you can get quick and easy access to Top Fraud & Scams Lawyers in your area offering sound legal help and assistance. Simply complete the form at the top-left of this page.