We’re all bombarded with those irritating robocalls and unwanted telemarketer solicitations, and even though it might seem simple enough to steer clear of falling prey to a scammer, it’s actually quite easy to get pulled in to what may seem like a believable scenario – especially for senior loved ones. In fact, an astounding $36 billion is scammed from seniors each year, and often these funds are unrecoverable, consuming a lifetime of savings and leaving seniors in financial distress.
The FBI wants us to be familiar with the leading scams and fraud against seniors so that we can keep those we love safe. Below is a list of helpful fraud prevention tips for seniors:
The Miracle Cure
When diagnosed with a chronic health condition, finding a cure or effective treatment option is a primary concern – something scammers are now utilizing to their advantage by touting “miracle” cures that might actually do more harm than good, both to a senior’s health and wallet. These tips will help:
- First, under no circumstances should you take any medications, even over-the-counter meds, vitamins, or supplements, without the doctor’s approval.
- Deceptive advertising and too-good-to-be-true promises, specifically in combination with a celebrity endorsement, are cause for suspicion – especially those touted as a “cure” without any adverse side effects.
- When in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau and/or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to determine if any complaints have been lodged against the seller or about the product.
Final Wishes Fraud
Making funeral arrangements for someone you care about is an emotionally-wrought time, leaving older adults in danger of individuals who want to take advantage of them. When organizing a funeral, the following information is important to be aware of:
- Senior citizens should always have a trusted relative or friend together with them while making final arrangements for a loved one.
- Price-shop by phone before selecting a funeral home, as they are required for legal reasons to present pricing.
- Purchase of either a casket or embalming isn’t needed for cremations – these are add-ons that will cost a senior thousands of additional and unnecessary funds.
- Review contracts thoroughly prior to signing anything.
Telemarketers love to focus on older adults, who can be lonely and revel in participating in a discussion with them, and who might not realize their scam practices. Avoid:
- “Free” awards which require a fee to be paid for any reason.
- A request for debit card or other personal/financial information from anybody who is unfamiliar.
- A push to decide instantly about a purchase.
- Services that call for payment in advance.
The professional home care services from Home With You Senior Care can help protect seniors from scams just like these, by providing regular, ongoing, trusted companionship and by serving as a resource to empower older adults to be aware and wary of the possibility for fraud. Give us a call at 410-756-0959 for additional information about our Ellicott City elder care and the communities we serve.