Together with exciting advancements in technologies come a fair share of scammers who prey on people’s naivety as well as good nature to take (financial) advantage of them. We list three such target groups below, along with the measures they can take to avoid being victims of these common ploys.
Many in this group are late to adopt technology and therefore tend to be less sure-footed in the online sphere. This leaves them easy targets for online scammers. Research has found that those over 65 are 34% more likely to fall victim to financial scams than people in their 40s. One popular ploy used by devious individuals is the ‘imposter scam’, where seniors are supposedly contacted on behalf of establishments such as the tax office, requesting that they send payments to a separate address to comply with regulations. Needless to say, they never hear from the person again after the money has been transferred. Another popular scam to affect the elderly is the ‘grandchildren scam’, where a fraudster calls and requests them to wire money to assist a grandchild or other loved ones in distress. By the time the hoax is exposed, it is much too late for the victim.
One way to avoid such a fate is to check with a younger, tech-savvy family member before making any form of financial transaction – online or otherwise.
Those seeking love
People who have turned to the internet to seek a relationship make particularly easy targets for scammers. The fact that they chose the online sphere as a viable avenue for finding love already leaves them somewhat vulnerable and trusting.
Interestingly, scammers in the region have begun to target those looking for love by taking on a new identity – they use Chinese names instead of Caucasian ones to sound more believable and thus draw in their victims. After maintaining a relationship with the victim for some time, many feign a death in the family or speak of a troubled business to evoke sympathy before asking for a sum of money.
One can avoid being a victim of such love scams by being more vigilant. Money should not exchange hands, especially if you haven’t yet met them in person.
One would be surprised to find out how many people fall for investment scams that sound too good to be true. What is more shocking is the number of seasoned investors that get duped into parting with their money. That being said, it does make sense that this group of people are commonly targeted – they have money they are eager to part with and scammers are only too happy to comply.
To get the better of this group, advanced scammers try to appear extremely genuine. They rent swanky offices in impressive locations, their websites are respectable and up-to-date, and they often have a good back-story about how they came into success.
Despite all this, there are still some red flags that distinguish this group of fraudulent operators from the legitimate ones. They tend to promise unrealistic (often guaranteed) returns on investments and have a habit of rushing deals by claiming that opportunities are only available for a limited period of time. They also tend to distract investors with free gifts and boast of their special connections within the industry.
These are only a few of the groups that scammers target. As the game together with the technology available to these fraudsters becomes more sophisticated, so will their ploys to get the better of their victims by dishonest means. It’s important to make all financial decisions cautiously and always seek a registered professional’s assistance where necessary.