Text: | Print|

Children can protect their elderly parents from scams

2014-11-07 10:13 Global Times Web Editor: Sun Tian

Elderly people are especially vulnerable after they lose their spouses, not just emotionally, but financially.

A resident surnamed Hong, whose husband recently died, received a phone call from a swindler claiming to be a civil affairs official who informed her that she was entitled to a 9,830 yuan ($1,602) "funeral subsidy." The swindler asked her to go to an ATM, where he intended to lead her through a complicated series of instructions that would ultimately trick her into transferring money from her account to one that he controlled.

Hong went to the bank, where the staff recognized the scam. The staff called the police and warned Hong about going ahead with the transaction, but she didn't listen. Neither the police nor the bank's employees could stop her.

Not long after, Hong received another phone call from someone also claiming to be an official. This time the official told her that she was entitled to a funeral subsidy of 16,000 yuan. It was only then that she realized she had fallen victim to a scam. Local police said that they have received several reports about similar cases.

With news reports about such scams so common, some might wonder why so many elderly people still get conned out of their lifesavings.

Obviously, the elderly fall victims to swindlers easily because they tend to trust others, even strangers, more readily as they age, which is a drawback of getting old, Wang Yuru, the chairwoman of the Shanghai Psychological Counseling Association, told the local news portal eastday.com last month.

But old people should not be blamed for falling prey so easily because there are so many scams that specifically target them. Nowadays, most elderly are financially independent from their children, especially in modern cities like Shanghai. Many elderly people have far more savings than their adult children, which makes them attractive targets to swindlers.

Life in retirement for the elderly is somewhat simple and boring. All they care about is their health and, if possible, using their money to get more money. The swindlers see through their minds and take advantage, using health issues and money issues as bait to trick the elderly. Many elderly people are cheated by swindlers who persuade them to buy health products and financial products and services at a discount.

Most elderly people were born in the old times when people trusted the authorities much more than today's young people. If the instructions related to money issues are given by "officials," the elderly tend to be easily convinced.

Of course, some of the aged who are keen on getting petty profits are even more easily victimized. Nevertheless, if elderly people can be less stubborn and are willing to listen to others' suggestions, or just consult their children (bad children who cast their greedy eyes on their inheritances are excluded) before they make financial decisions, they might better protect their assets.

Compared with the aged, young people are better informed. They have better judgment about financial management with their wider range of knowledge. And they are warier about strangers and can detect fraud more easily. Even in a situation that is not a scam, young people with clearer minds can analyze the risks and profits in any kind of economic activity and make a better decision.

For elderly people, most of whom don't have much financial knowledge, the best and the most secure method to protect and maintain their money is still through the banks. But as most average old people still live a thrifty lifestyle, the interest from their savings and their pensions is abundant enough to support their cost of living, so they should not think about making more money by risking their savings.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.