Marketing is an amazing thing. With just words and a little bit of skill, you can have people buying what they don’t necessarily want or even need, and feel good about it in the process.
But in some cases, the way we present things may go a little overboard, and cause unnecessary fear.
Nearly 46 percent of women over the age of 75 live alone. One in three of these women will live well into their 90s. And because movement may be limited and they may not be as active as they once were, they resort to a life inside the home, often in front of the television. And in close access to their phones.
The news, the commercials in between, even the weather station promotes fear and instability. If you survive the tornadoes, excessive heat, wildfires or flash floods, will you make it past the political fringe groups out to get you? Watching this day in and day out is enough to scare anyone. Yet with this group of people, you also add in vulnerability.
And marketers and scammers know it.
A study by AARP has estimated that fraud costs the nation’s elderly an estimated $3 billion a year, and one in five will fall victim to one of these scams at some point in their lives. And its easy to see why; they get better all the time.
Imagine watching over and over again the risk a person is at when faced with normal everyday circumstances. The weather channel puts you on high alert for excessive heat, wildfires and flash flooding. When the storms set in, its easy to believe that you are at risk, especially if you are in an area prone to flooding.
Clever marketers promote the need for life alert and medical alert systems. And very quickly, an elderly person living alone is pulled in. This is where risk begins.
When robocall scams, door to door salespersons, or even online scams present themselves, its easy to fall victim. An elderly person is already afraid, and this offer couldn’t come at a better time. Of course they hand over their credit card; they are getting a deal. Of course they release sensitive information; they feel this person has their best interests at heart.
And then when they are scammed, they feel that much more vulnerable all over again.
Education and protection are your two biggest keys to prevent future attacks.
First, educate your loved one about the dangers of potential scammers. If you have a close relationship, it is wise to talk regularly about potential threats and what your options are to avoid them.
Second, protect your lived one. While you can’t take away their credit cards or their television, you can monitor their bank accounts and credit report on a regular basis. If you begin seeing things out of the ordinary, its better to catch things quickly than to let them get out of hand.