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Fraud Calling targeting the poor and elderly

Fraud calling is known to all. The feeling of being cheated is the one that all can relate to. But the one who is already in trouble of loneliness and without money to sustain is devastating. This all colludes to become a victim in fraud calling cases. So, now the question comes how this happens? How do people fall for it? What possible outcomes for this fraud-calling situation?

These frauds target the vulnerable people of society, ones who are lonely, willing to listen and elders are willing to talk and listen the most. There is another section also like poor people who require becoming rich instantly and looking for instant success without much hard work. Also, the elderly are promising as younger people might not be involved in these frauds.

Many of these fraud schemes are done over phone calls, some might go door-to-door for interacting and getting the whole stance and then cheat these people. The elderly are targets to schemes attributed to credit cards, sweepstakes or contests, charities, health products, magazines, home improvements, equity skimming, investments, banking or wire transfers, and insurance and the poor to the lottery, money doubling schemes, allowances on some work or products, etc.

Techniques used

· Mortgages- A fraudster might focus on homeownership. He might help the elderly in alleged ownership of his house and then trap him.

· Money Schemes- A fraudster can help a person with a scheme of money doubling and ask for money.

· Investment- Fraudsters can give a medical care scheme and ask for money investment.

· Anti-ageing Products- Anti-ageing products that are fake but have high prices are sold by so-called agents and gain profit.

· Telephones- Asking for money by portraying distant relatives or a needy person in help.

· Internet- It is the main tool to locate such people from different social media sites like Facebook, dating apps, emails, etc.

The vulnerability of poor people is the main reason in the case of economically weaker sections of society. Lack of education among these is the main reason and many others are affecting these people. Greediness, disloyalty to superiors, and situations like “The White Tiger” may cause them viciously. Negligent behavior towards living life, unawareness of progressive technology, unlawful use of the internet make them the prey to these fraud callers. Eagerness to earn money in any way possible makes them exposed to these systems.

The estimates say that one out of eighteen elderly people is the victim of these frauds in India. The uneducated exposure to the internet and willingness to conquer the lonely phase of their life make them expect more. The reason behind becoming a victim is also that they are less likely to file complaints. The research indicates that 5.4% of older adults are victims of financial fraud.

The reporting of these scams is less than what is expected. Avoiding these frauds needs more techno-savvy and strong decision making which lacks in elderly due to cognition of age-related factors, poor support system from family, children do neglect their parents and this gives them a sense of isolation.

The majority of victims also report anger, stress, regret, betrayal, embarrassment, sadness, helplessness, shame, and unhappiness.

So as educated adults we need to take care of the elderly and give them that warm feeling of being with us. For poor people, we as a society need to create awareness regarding these fraud calls and we should also educate them through NGOs, banks, etc.

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