At FootPrints Home Care, we take to heart that younger generations have a duty to protect the most vulnerable members of society against criminal predators. It’s an unfortunate fact that criminals sometimes view seniors as easy targets because they typically have high credit ratings and savings in the bank. What’s more, seniors who came of age in a more trusting and polite era may find it difficult to hang up on strangers calling them to offer them an exciting opportunity. In some cases, a senior may have cognitive issues such as poor memory that can prevent them from recognizing that someone has scammed them. With that in mind, here are common scams targeting seniors, as well as our advice on how you can help them avoid falling into financial traps set by crooks.
GRANDCHILD IS IN TROUBLE
The team at FootPrints Home Care has seen how easily criminals can take advantage of unsuspecting seniors to extract money from them for what seems like a legitimate purpose. One scam involves calling the senior and saying that their grandchild is in trouble and needs money to be immediately wired.
Avoid this scam by double-checking that the caller is actually a grandchild, by asking questions that only he or she would know, and then following up by speaking to the child’s parent.
THE “IRS” OR “US TREASURY” IS CALLING
A criminal will pose as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service, claiming that a large sum of money is outstanding, and that the debt must be collected. Otherwise, police will be sent to the home to arrest the senior.
This scam will evaporate when you explain to the senior that the IRS will never make a call like this to obtain the money owed. Call the IRS yourself to verify if there is any problem with back taxes.
A CRIMINAL HACKER TARGETING SENIORS WITH FRAUDULENT EMAIL
Practice skepticism about emails and make sure that your senior knows not to click on links in unsolicited emails, as this could be the precursor to fraud. Links also can lead to malware infecting the computer in a bid to steal the senior’s identity and then drain the victim’s bank accounts.
FAKE CHARITY SEEKS DONATIONS
Seniors who want to support others with charity can wind up being scammed out of their hard-earned savings when a fake charity calls and asks for donations to a cause, such as to support a non-existent firefighter or police officer fund.
Check out the charity online and verify that it is legitimate, rather than accepting the word of a stranger over the phone asking for a handout.
Taking care of seniors is our highest priority at FootPrints Home Care. If you have an elderly relative that could use some help with in-home care, it’s important to go with a company that has an excellent track record in all aspects of senior care, from ensuring they get medical attention for their ailments to protecting them from scam artists. If you could use some assistance or would like to learn more about in-home senior care, please get in touch with FootPrints Home Care today.