It seems to me that senior citizens are disproportionately represented in the scamming statistics. Not of course as scammers, but being scammed. So what is scamming, and how is it different from theft? Scamming is when somebody tries (and maybe succeeds) in taking your money for themselves without equal benefit to you, whereas theft is taking your money without your knowledge. Hang on, they both sound like theft, and that is true. The difference with the scam is that you may probably have given them the means to do it, and very probably had personal contact with the person.
I have noticed a number of news items lately (See the News Item) relating to scamming, and cannot help thinking why anyone would fall for it. But so many people have lost so much money to these fraudsters that it is almost beyond belief. And not all of them are Senior Citizens, just too many. We have spent too many years saving and scrimping for our retirement as our parents taught us to lose it to some scumbag. Not all these scumbags live in Nigeria. In fact most live here. Not all of them are nefarious and slinking around hedgerows. Many are well healed, finance types, some with even a Sir before their name. You all know someone who got ripped off in the finance scandals not tooo long ago and lost almost all their savings. Corporate fraud it is called. And then there are the con artists disguised as bank reps, power company reps, salesmen, benefactors and so on.
Where do you go for assistance?
So the best advice is homegrown. And the best site in this country is this one below. Tap it and be taken to a comprehensive assortment of New Zealand specific advice. You can contact them by phone, by email and by visiting, and know that what they say, works.
As shocking as the media makes it sound, and it is, my suspicion is that the greatest fraud is probably perpetuated by people we know. As we get towards being unable to manage everything for ourselves we increasingly rely upon others to do stuff for us.
Should you know of someone or suspect you are being targeted, the get in touch with someone you trust, or contact us, or any of the senior services on our LINKS page.