Background checks aren’t just for gun owners. Scamsters abound, online and offline, and it’s difficult to measure the impact because victims are too embarrassed to go to the authorities. Professional scammers will use personal information that they have obtained to gain the victim’s trust, or present themselves with a completely fake personal or professional history. Playing on an older person’s inexperience, or trust, or imperfect memory makes it especially insidious.
Online romance scams, tax scams, travel scams, identity theft scams, real estate scams, and investment or insurance scams are just some of the dangers facing unwary seniors. That’s not pocket change either. A study by True Link Financial revealed that seniors are being scammed to the tune of $36 billion dollars a year; smart seniors should consider using a helpful tool to minimize fraud: a background checking service.
Seniors who allow individuals (aka “helpers”) to enter their home and assist them with their daily lives can be at risk for scams and frauds. This individual may enter their home and offer to run their errands, do their shopping, or drive them to their appointments. Perhaps the individual offers to deposit a check in the unsuspecting senior’s bank account. Although the helper may put on the persona of a “no strings attached” good deed, they may be helping themselves to data regarding the senior’s personal details with a plan to scam them out of money. A background check can verify the credentials of the helper before they enter the home.
Met someone online?
After weeks or months of online dating site, someone contacts you who seems perfect. But are they too good to be true?
Online dating scams, according to the FTC, cost victims $220 million in 2016. Although people of all ages can fall victim – one estimate is that one in every ten posts on online dating sites is a scam – older people are particularly vulnerable. The most insidious of these is “catfishing” or using a fake online persona to lure someone into a relationship for financial gain.
A con artist will create a fictitious online profile with phony pictures, using credible social networks, seeking to steal money from the unsuspecting victim. The scamster will quickly confess “true love” and shortly after ask for a wire transfer of funds for a sick relative or a personal emergency…sometimes right before a promised meeting…that falls through at the last minute.
Is this person on the level? On online background check can help; just remember never to send money to anyone you’ve met on an online dating site, especially if you’ve never met in person, regardless of the reasons they provide. These scammers are good at what they do, or they wouldn’t do it, but a little vigilance and some research can help seniors protect themselves, their identity and their financial wellbeing.
Trying to locate a lost relative, friend, or classmate?
Over the years, people move, change their names, and suddenly years have gone by and you haven’t seen or spoken to people who were once meaningful in your life. Deciding which method to use to reconnect with this person can be daunting and often unsuccessful. Don’t give up. A background checking service can help. They can help you locate people, addresses, phone numbers and even their social media profiles. It’s a much easier way to reconnect with a lost relative, or organize a class reunion.
There are many other reasons to do a background check and even ways to do one for free, according to this report. But whether it’s free or a paid service, a background check is a valuable tool for peace of mind, heart, and property.
Justin Lavelle is Chief Communications Officer for https://www.beenverified.com , the leading source of online background checks and contact information. BeenVerified allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses, property records and criminal records in a way that’s fast, easy and affordable.