Sadly, financial scammers often prey upon elderly persons in senior care because of their predisposition to generosity and compassion. Scams can occur by phone, email, internet and in person.
Retired adults need to be especially cautious about financial management. Seniors are likely to be on a fixed income with limited savings, making a financial scam a potential hard blow to their future. If an older person loses a large sum of money, repercussions may be felt by their next generation, as family ends up helping with additional expenses.
What can be done to protect our older loved ones? Communicate to aging parents about known scams so they can be wary of tricksters. Let them know it’s easy to fall for scams and that it happens to people of all ages. Remind them to do due diligence prior to releasing any monies. Help them to feel comfortable contacting you for anything that might be suspicious. Remind them to hang up on unknown callers, decline solicitors, and don’t reply to, or click on links in emails from unfamiliar sources.
These are scams that are commonly known that you and your family members need to be aware of:
- Fake winnings – lotteries, contests, free prizes. What the scammers really want is bank account information. They might ask their victim to just pay for shipping or fees to secure credit card information.
- Fake charities – disaster relief or medical support. Although there are true donation sites that support such causes, there are scheming criminals who try to capitalize on a hardship or unfortunate situation for money.
- Family impersonators – grandchildren calling from jail or claiming to have been in an accident, or in some other desperate need of money. Often, these callers request the purchase of prepaid gift cards or a wire transfer. Consider this a red flag!
- Door-to-door salespersons – Selling products, fake magazine subscriptions, or even home repairs. These can have high costs for those who get sucked in.
There are so many ways that scammers get money or access to credit cards and personal information from seniors. Keep communication open with your loved ones and remind them you are looking out for their best interests. Encourage your loved ones to be skeptical and ask questions.
In-home caregivers can be a help because they can keep an eye out for any signs of mail or phone scams and assist the senior in good decisions. Learn more about in-home care by contacting Home Care Assistance of Greater Burlington. We pride ourselves in the allowing your loved one the ability to age in place. We can help to be an extra defense for seniors and make sure no one can take advantage of them.