8 Ways to Keep Seniors Safe from Scams
Elderly fraud is an unfortunate, yet important topic to keep in mind for the seniors in our lives. Scam artists target the elderly because they perceive them as vulnerable, financially secure and overly trusting. Sadly, these characteristics can make seniors a prime target for fraud and scams.
At Concordia, we work closely with seniors in many different environments including retirement communities, in-home senior care, skilled nursing centers and more, and have seen what damage scams can cause. There are many ways scammers contact seniors, such as by telephone, door-to-door solicitations, mail and email. They will usually ask them for money and/or claim they are someone else and need their personal information. Because of this reality, it’s important to take precautions. Below are some ways you can help keep your senior loved ones safe from scams:
- Educate Your Loved One – If your senior loved one asks you about a suspicious call or offer, and you feel that it’s a scam, explain why you feel it’s suspicious so they can learn for the future. Kindly remind them that strangers who ask for money or personal information cannot be trusted. You can also let them know that if someone only gives them the option to pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card or onto a cash reload card, it’s a scam.
- Ask for Proof – Let your loved one know they can ask a person for proof of their business. They can ask the business for their name, number and company address. If the person refuses to provide this information, it’s likely a suspicious encounter. If they only provide their name and number, and your loved one isn’t sure if their request is legitimate, they can tell the business they will call them back.
- Stay Up-To-Date – Keep an eye on the news and check recently reported scams (such as on the Federal Trade Commission website) to help you and your loved one stay up-to-date and aware.
- Check In Frequently – Check in on your loved one and stay involved in their life so you can more easily recognize if anything seems suspicious. Plus, it can help your loved one to feel more comfortable to talk to you about any odd occurrences they may have experienced.
- Opt Out – Sign your loved one up for the “Do Not Call” registry and use the Direct Marketing Association’s mail preference service to prevent them from receiving scams via phone calls or mail.
- Properly Dispose of Paperwork – Properly dispose of paperwork by shredding it before throwing it away to keep others from getting their hands on your loved one’s personal information.
- Set Up a Joint Bank Account – Secure your loved one’s funds by setting up a joint bank account at a financial institution. Being able to monitor the account online for unusual activity is one of the benefits.
- Help Others – You can remind your loved one that, by letting you know about potential scams they encountered, you may be able to report it (e.g., to the local police, their financial institution and the National Adult Protection Services Association) which can help to protect others.
Because seniors are targeted by scam artists, staying up-to-date on recent scams and talking with your loved one can decrease the chances that they’ll become a victim. If you have any tips or experiences you’d like to share, we welcome you to comment below.
If you found this article helpful, check out our Tips for Helping Seniors Stay Safe Online.
Do you have questions about Concordia or are interested in how we can help you and your loved one? If so, please feel free to contact us any time via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571. Or, visit the care levels & services page of our website to learn about the types of care we offer including Personal Care, In-Home Care, Memory Care, Long-Term Nursing Care, Adult Day Services and more.