Does it seem like you can barely get through a single day without encountering some sort of scam these days? Sadly, new scams that seek to trick people out of money or steal their identities pop up all the time. It can be hard to keep up with them. And, since many thieves target older adults believing them to be easier targets, it’s quite likely your aging relative is frequently encountering scams, too. One of the best ways for caregivers to help older adults to protect themselves from scams is to talk to them about the problem and keep them aware of new scams. Below are 4 common scams that caregivers should talk to seniors about today.
#1 “Yes” Calls
In this scam, the target receives a phone call, often automated, that starts with the caller saying something like, “Can you hear me?” or simply saying the person’s first name in a questioning manner. The hope of the caller is that the person who answers will say “yes.” When they do, their voice is recorded and later used to authorize purchases made by phone.
#2 Paying Fees for Prize Winnings
There are lots of scams that involve informing a person that they’ve won a fantastic prize. Now, all they have to do to collect it is to pay associated fees with a gift card or wire transfer. Caregivers should make sure that older adults know that legitimate contests don’t ask winners to pay fees in this manner.
#3 Calls from “Microsoft”
The older adult gets a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft’s technical support office. They say they’ve detected a problem with the senior’s computer and need to access it remotely to fix the problem. Once they do that, they get access to all sorts of information that allows them to steal money or the person’s identity. Caregivers can warn seniors that technology companies don’t work this way. They are not monitoring everyone’s computers for problems and will not call to fix problems.
#4 Door to Door Home Improvement Sales
Thieves may go door to door offering to make repairs and improvements to houses. They convince the home owner that a job needs to be done, then ask for a deposit to hold the person’s place in line for their services. The thief never returns to do the job and the money is lost. If older adults are not sure the person is really from a home improvement company, they should ask for a card and tell the person they will think about it and contact them if interested.
This is just a small sampling of scams that are out there today. To keep on top of new scams, caregivers can use the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker by visiting their website (bbb.org) and clicking on “scam tracker” at the top of the page. Caregivers can also sign up for scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission by visiting ftc.gov.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider senior care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.