How To Protect Elderly Parents From Scams

Elderly scams are the most common form of fraud. Sadly, scam artists relentlessly prey on senior citizens because they are easy targets. They tend to be gullible, live alone and usually do not have someone watching over their finances regularly. So How can we Protect Elderly Parents from Scams?

First start by being aware of these scams so that the elderly do not fall victim to fraud. This can spare them from not only heartache, but also financial duress. Seniors are often vulnerable to cons and scammers for many reasons, including impaired judgment from cognitive impairment, financial ignorance and loneliness. Awareness can help your family stay vigilant to forewarn your senior loved ones about these cons.

elderly scams

Financial scams can be presented in several different methods as identified by The National Council for the Aging.

Top 10 Potential Scams being perpetrated against seniors.

  •  Medicare/health insurance scams
  •  Counterfeit prescription drugs
  •  Funeral & cemetery scams
  •  Fraudulent anti-aging products
  •  Telemarketing/phone scams
  •  Internet fraud
  •  Investment schemes
  •  Homeowner/reverse mortgage scams
  •  Sweepstakes & lottery scams
  •  The grandparent scam

[bctt tweet=”Have you or an elderly loved one been affected by a scam? Read This!” username=”sandsonlinevent”]

From email scams to investment schemes, lottery scams and sweepstakes — the scamming and fraud problems are never-ending. Staying aware of the most common scams listed above can help your aging loved one avoid victimization. Caregivers and families can take the following steps to identify any red flags in their seniors’ lives.

Ways to Protect Your Elderly Parents From Being Scammed

  1. Get Involved with the Finances
    • Be aware of aging parents’ finances, including monthly bills, accounts and passwords
    • Be ready to step-in when managing finances becomes a burden
  2. Educate Your Elderly Parent Against Giving out Their Financial Information
    • Warn parents about giving out their personal banking information, credit card numbers or social security numbers (especially for charitable donations or confirmations of sweepstakes)
  3. Be Aware of Questionable Salespeople
    • Salespeople need to be able to provide written information about their company, including the company name, address and telephone
    • Warn aging parents about ‘get rich quick’ schemes
  4. If Someone Calls from a “Government Agency,” Request More Info
    • Educate aging parents to ask for a certified letter on official letterhead for security purposes
  5. Visit Your Aging Loved One Regularly
    • Be aware of what your aging parent does on a regular basis
    • Ask about phone calls and emails they receive to take note of anything out of the ordinary
    • Watch for a full mailbox as large numbers of mailings from promotion companies could indicate the elderly person is on a “sucker list”
  6. Tell Your Parent Never to Hire Someone Who Shows up at Their Door
    • Warn your aging parent about door-to-door salespeople as these people may take money but never do (or fully complete) the work
  7. Educate Your Parent to Never Make a ‘Spur-Of-The-Moment’ Decision
    • If a salesperson says that an opportunity will be missed if they don’t make a decision, it is likely a scam
    • Legitimate companies do not pressure people to buy or act
  8. Avoid Investments That Promise Huge Profits
    • Warn aging parents that ‘high-return’ investments are not guaranteed and are usually too good to be true
    • Legitimate companies will tell consumers about possible risks and it is likely that aging parents are not in a good place to take huge risks if they’re retired and dependent on their current finances
  9. Put the Seniors Number on the National ‘Do Not Call’ Registry 

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Donna M Sands,

Improving the Lives of Others.
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