Protect Your Loved Ones from These Senior Scams
Senior scams costs older Americans upwards of $2.6 billion per year, and can come in a
wide range of guises. And scammers are often so crafty and good at what they do, any of us could find ourselves victims. For many older adults who may feel lonely or isolated, the joy in talking with someone on the phone may make them more vulnerable to these scams.
One particular red flag to keep in mind is that if the caller asks for money or confidential financial information, beware! The caller may even say that he or she is from a reputable organization, such as the Social Security Administration or the local police department. Keep in mind that these organizations will NEVER call to request funds over the phone.
Some other warning signs to watch for:
- The promise of winning money, making money, or borrowing money easily;
- The demand to act immediately or miss out on this incredible opportunity;
- The refusal to send any written documentation before agreeing to donate or make a purchase;
- The attempt to frighten or intimidate the senior into purchasing something;
- The insistence upon wiring money or having a courier pick up the payment; and,
- The refusal to cease calling after being asked to not call again.
Did you know?
- It is not legal for organizations that operate contests or sweepstakes to request any payment to enter or claim a prize, or to even suggest that a person’s chances of winning will be greater if a purchase is made.
- It is not legal for telemarketers to request a fee upfront to help the person obtain a loan if they guarantee or strongly imply that a loan will be approved.
- There is never a reason to give your credit card number or bank account details to a telemarketer unless a payment is actually being made from that account.
- If a payment is demanded before detailed information about the offer is given, it’s likely a scam.
Three ways you can reduce the chance of senior scams impacting those you love:
- Ask organizations with whom business is done to ensure that all personal information is kept confidential and never shared with others.
- Refrain from filling out sweepstakes entries and cards at vendor booths that request personal information in exchange for the chance to win a prize.
- Know your “Do-Not-Call” rights. Under federal law, you can instruct a telemarketer not to call a number again, and they need to abide by that request. Call 888-382-1222 or register online.
For further help in keeping a loved one safe from senior scams, contact Hired Hands Homecare, the top at home caregivers in Marin and the surrounding areas in California. Our companionship services are an excellent way to combat loneliness and isolation, and to provide older adults with the opportunity for enhanced socialization that makes them less susceptible to senior scams.