Unfortunately, seniors across the nations fall prey to ever innovative scam artists. These scams take advantage of some of the more unsuspecting individuals. They target seniors who often have a bigger savings account and aren’t always as skeptical of offers.
It’s important for seniors to be aware of these scams and for caregivers to keep their loved ones up-to-date and informed. This will help seniors avoid scammers and keep their finances secure.
Here are some of the ways to help seniors avoid scammers:
- Protect your medicare number and review your statements.
- Review your bills as undelivered services or devices can be billed.
- Always do your own homework to check what’s actually covered under Medicare, rather than trusting solicitors.
- Telemarketers have the advantage of anonymity. Best practice is to never give out any information over the phone unless you first made the call, knowing you called the correct number.
- Remove your number from the telemarketers list. Report your number to the National Do Not Call Registry
- If telemarketers do call, prepare a line you repeat to every call, such as “I never give out information over the phone. Have a nice day, good-bye.”
- It’s important to realize con artists pose as trustworthy individuals and familiar organizations so it’s never a good idea to give out information over the phone or wire any money. Always, hang up and get more information.
- For example, if ComEd calls asking you to pay a late payment, hang up and call the legitimate ComEd number and ask for information on your account.
- Be aware some services like the IRS never call to demand an immediate payment, especially without ever sending a bill.
- A big scheme that catches even the most careful of persons occurs through email. Con artists pose as a company or service you subscribe to will send an email to update your information.
- Always initiate the updating by contacting the service yourself.
- Stay Social
- When a senior has little contact with friends and family, isolated in their home, it’s easier for them to fall prey to these scams.
- Be sure your loved one is socially active and keep them up to date on the ever innovating schemes of con artists.
Financial risk can be an area of great stress and anxiety to seniors, especially if they don’t see a solution. Keep the conversation open, always speaking about scams and fraud in a matter-of-fact way (not too seriously). When a loved one under your care realizes these types of things could happen to anyone and many times there are resolutions, it reduces the fear aspect of security and empowers them to make wise decisions with their information.