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Seniors' Susceptibility to Scams
Old 11-18-2010, 03:59 PM   #1
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Seniors' Susceptibility to Scams

Older but Not Wiser? The Psychology Behind Seniors' Susceptibility to Scams: Scientific American

---Many of these free lunch seminars are scams aimed at retirees. Nearly six million seniors have attended such seminars in the past three years---
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:03 PM   #2
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Older adults aren't as upset by possible financial losses as young people are, psychological research has shown...
I call BS on this one - or perhaps I'm just not 'aging gracefully'...
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I call BS on this one - or perhaps I'm just not 'aging gracefully'...
I don't know.
Maybe it's a generational thing.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
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These articles always state their conclusions like it applies to everyone, but the fact is that these findings are only relevant statistically. I still love reading all the new findings in this exciting field. Thanks for posting, Khan.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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Funny but as I get older I think everyone is out to scam me. Seems like I'm always going at it with someone.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:55 PM   #6
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My impression is that the authors had decided in advance to write this up for Scientific American, and the fact that their study discovered nothing of interest was not about to stop them.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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The article is very poor.
Quote:
And since they're more likely to err, older people can benefit from listening to a trusted advisor before making big financial decisions—and, perhaps, by throwing out any free lunch invitations that come in the mail, or at least attending and ignoring the scammers' pitch while eating lunch on their dime.
As opposed to younger people, who have no need of advice and should take up all invitations with gusto? Sigh.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
Seems like I'm always going at it with someone.
Yeah, "You kids get the hell off my lawn!"
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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Wow, just this week am working with a family that mom receives 60-70 sweepstakes mailers A DAY and got scammed of thousands of dollars in the past few months. It is a very real problem, sadly.
Up until this, very savvy.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #10
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Funny but as I get older I think everyone is out to scam me. Seems like I'm always going at it with someone.
Just do this dance.......that'll scare 'em off....



As far as old folks gettin' scammed, that won't happen to my daddy as he tells people to call his daughter about financial matters. Hmmmm, I haven't been contacted yet.
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I think it is a good article.
Old 11-19-2010, 02:30 PM   #11
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I think it is a good article.

This neural imaging used to see what part of the brain lights up in various circumstances is very helpful, IMO.

My whole life I have had to struggle against risk-seeking, so I will try to be particularly aware of any changes toward more cavalier attitudes as time goes by. I think my nucleus accumbens thingy is stupid enough already.

Ha
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:43 PM   #12
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My impression is that the authors had decided in advance to write this up for Scientific American, and the fact that their study discovered nothing of interest was not about to stop them.

It's not a study Its a journalistic effort to report on studies

This article is provided by Scienceline, a project of New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:04 PM   #13
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It is true that not all seniors fit the mold described in the article. However, I see some truth, and appreciate the warning the article puts out. My in-laws are very susceptible, and it seems to come from overconfidence. They are not well off, by anyone's interpretation. However, they have quite a bit. With 15-20 years of retirement under their belts, they have saved more than most. They are frugal in the traditional sense. They have even survived a few years of investing with the guy who went to son-in-law's church. Therein lies the problem, I believe. Rather than relying on the collective advice of several daughters and son-in-laws, their attention is skewed for whatever reason to one daughter and S-I-L. However, many of you would look at some of these decisions and question the reasonableness.

For instance, they keep their house too cool in winter (65), and too warm in the summer (78). Their windows and doors were fine. The bills were extremely low due to their frugality and the well-built house. One day this year a salesman stopped at their door and told them of the savings they would get with all new windows. They signed a contract. Warning bells went off in my head. I tried to get the favorite to question the purchase, and do some research on the contractor. "He has a web site, and I went to it and it looks good." I knew there was no turning the ship around. Six months later F-I-L starts complaining to me about his electric bills in the summer, and how they did not see any savings. Well, they are 85, and I calculate the payback as something like 20+ years, if they turn up the heat!

Second point is that I go to the financial dinners. Just went last week. I send in reports to AARP about what was said, who were the representatives, and so on. Happy to report that it appears the majority of people at these dinners are tough-minded and well in control of their retirement. However, of the 20 atttendees, I can see there are a handful of prospects. You have to understand that if one out of 20 signs up for the paid advisor, long term care and annuity, then the dinner has been a success.

There is definitely positive-bias in the crowds I have sat with over the last two years. I have observed quite a bit, and I can see the message laid out over and over. "It is a bad world, look at these wild swings in the market. However, my good friend Leo from Washington La-Dee-Da can show you how an insurance company can guarantee you 5% with this variable annuity."
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:59 PM   #14
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they keep their house too cool in winter (65).
FWIW, I found that comment very amusing.
We keep our house at 64 in the winter, because that's where we're most comfortable.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:27 PM   #15
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FWIW, I found that comment very amusing.
We keep our house at 64 in the winter, because that's where we're most comfortable.
I don't think it's amusing. It's a matter of where they're most comfortable. When they're running a 1960's-style space heater in the dining room, it makes no sense. Obviously not comfortable, or wouldn't wear a jacket in the house while running a dangerous space heater. LOL.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
It is true that not all seniors fit the mold described in the article. However, I see some truth, and appreciate the warning the article puts out. My in-laws are very susceptible, and it seems to come from overconfidence. They are not well off, by anyone's interpretation. However, they have quite a bit. With 15-20 years of retirement under their belts, they have saved more than most. They are frugal in the traditional sense. They have even survived a few years of investing with the guy who went to son-in-law's church. Therein lies the problem, I believe. Rather than relying on the collective advice of several daughters and son-in-laws, their attention is skewed for whatever reason to one daughter and S-I-L. However, many of you would look at some of these decisions and question the reasonableness.

For instance, they keep their house too cool in winter (65), and too warm in the summer (78). Their windows and doors were fine. The bills were extremely low due to their frugality and the well-built house. One day this year a salesman stopped at their door and told them of the savings they would get with all new windows. They signed a contract. Warning bells went off in my head. I tried to get the favorite to question the purchase, and do some research on the contractor. "He has a web site, and I went to it and it looks good." I knew there was no turning the ship around. Six months later F-I-L starts complaining to me about his electric bills in the summer, and how they did not see any savings. Well, they are 85, and I calculate the payback as something like 20+ years, if they turn up the heat!

Second point is that I go to the financial dinners. Just went last week. I send in reports to AARP about what was said, who were the representatives, and so on. Happy to report that it appears the majority of people at these dinners are tough-minded and well in control of their retirement. However, of the 20 atttendees, I can see there are a handful of prospects. You have to understand that if one out of 20 signs up for the paid advisor, long term care and annuity, then the dinner has been a success.

There is definitely positive-bias in the crowds I have sat with over the last two years. I have observed quite a bit, and I can see the message laid out over and over. "It is a bad world, look at these wild swings in the market. However, my good friend Leo from Washington La-Dee-Da can show you how an insurance company can guarantee you 5% with this variable annuity."
Why is that too hot or cold?
60F in winter (50F at night); 80F in summer if humid.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:32 PM   #17
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About a year and a half ago I volunteered to be an instructor in a program pitched at seniors called "Fighting Financial Fraud." The presentation lasts about an hour, is co-sponsored by AARP and FINRA and gives good advice about looking out for scams. I've given a few presentations but my conclusions after doing them are: 1) the people who come to them have so little money that scammers aren't going after them OR 2) they have enough money that they are sophisticated enough not to need the presentation.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:29 AM   #18
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This is probably true, in South Florida you can't turn on the radio on without hearing about some annuity (they don't use the A-word, they substitute product, investment, or some other misnomer), with a 10% bonus and a 10% guaranteed for the first year!!!!
TJ
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #19
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I call BS on this one - or perhaps I'm just not 'aging gracefully'...
I agree.

But the following scam is real, especially on male seniors:

When you stop at a red light a young nude woman comes up and pretends
to wash your windshield. While she is doing this, another person opens
your back door and steals everything in the car.

They are very good at this. They got me 7 times on Friday, 5 times on Saturday.

I couldn't find them on Sunday.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:44 AM   #20
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Oh, and I thought this was going to be another TSA thread about Seniors' Susceptibility to Scans. I guess I need those reading glasses.
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