Fraud deceives a person by unfairly misrepresenting the truth. Just as there is no typical profile for swindlers, neither is there one for their victims. Virtually anyone can fall prey to criminal fraudulence.

According to the National Consumers League, seniors often fall prey to schemes such as fraudulent telemarketing. Telemarketers often target the elderly as potential victims because they are most likely to: have money, savings and/or investments; be home to receive phone solicitation; and remain on the phone longer to hear the sales pitch.

Although they are the most likely to be targeted, seniors are not the only ones that telemarketers prey on. Young, well-educated people may also be targeted because of: lack of experience that could help them recognize fraudulent pitches; desire and social pressure to increase their standard of living quickly; and / or lack of information about financial investments.

Other victims are targeted because of certain personality / character traits — compassion, respect for authority figures, an unsuspicious nature — that may increase their risk of being victimized by fraud.

Of successful fraud attempts, those who fall prey typically lose money or property, suffer financial or personal credit problems, and can even suffer health or emotional problems related to their victimization. Groups and…

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