Protecting Seniors from Scams

By , 8:44 am on
Older man reading credit card information over the phone in Knoxville, TN

Scammers often prey upon the elderly because they’re likely to be kind and generous. Unfortunately, money scams occur over the phone, by email, and in person.

Family with older loved ones need to be cautious.  Seniors are usually on a fixed income and money scams are costly to their future freedoms and security. When older adults experience a financial disaster, children and grandchildren may end up with consequences, too, by assisting with the financial losses.

How can you be proactive about your loved ones’ safety? How to keep those in senior care safe from scammers? Get educated on common schemes. Talk with your aging parents so they will be more inclined to recognize tricksters. Scam artists have a lot of practice and can dupe people of any age. Ask seniors to research a person or company before any money or information is released. Tell them to contact you for help if someone or something seems shady. Help the older adult feel it’s not rude to hang up on phone solicitors. Emails from strangers can be deleted without answering, too.

Criminal schemes have been around for a long time, but the more common ones are well-known:

  • Feigned winnings – lottery hoaxes, contests, and supposedly free prizes. Criminals want to obtain account information, so they might ask for some small fees to be paid. In reality, they gain access to bank account details.
  • Deceptive charities – mock relief from a real disaster. Non-profits often help with support, but criminals want to capitalize on the misfortune.
  • Impersonators – relatives, usually grandchildren, are in need of money because of jail or an accident. The phone caller might cry that he or she is desolate. When asked to purchase a prepaid gift card or a wire transfer, remember this is a red flag!
  • Door-to-door ploys – phony tactics like the sale of needed home products or subscriptions. This can be a costly mistake.

Typical schemers are trying to get a credit card and bank info, or money from an elderly person in senior care. Keep communication open with your loved ones and assure them you’ve got their back. Tell them it’s not rude to be suspicious of strangers.

A caregiver can bring an additional level of security to loved ones. They are alert for signs of a scheme when helping someone in senior care. Learn more about in-home care by contacting Home Care Assistance of Knoxville, TN.

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