We all want to protect our friends and family from unscrupulous people, but it is often difficult to keep a constant eye on them. What is all the more heartbreaking is fraudsters seeing your elderly mom or dad as easy targets. Fraud against senior citizens too often goes unreported, however, it is estimated that more than $40 billion a year is scammed from America's seniors as indicated by Fraud.org.
As much as friends and family try protect their senior loved ones from these scams, they often can’t interfere in all the new ways con artists are using technology to prey on the elderly. This is where personal caregivers in assisted living become important money savers. The staff of an assisted living facility can observe internet use, help residents read and interpret web communications, and even regular mail. In these and other ways, qualified caretakers can help seniors:
- Avoid sending money or financial information Baby boomers may be more accustomed to the trusting, face-to-face era that preceded the internet. Millennials know full well how many ways there are to be scammed, and think carefully before sending out sensitive information like bank account, credit card, or social security numbers. Suspicious, yet legitimate-looking checks made out for a large amount of money are a red flag for a scam that seniors might miss. A personal care giver, is in a much better position to alert those seniors in their care and even explain how such scams work.
- Avoid catchy pitches for clever cons Many con artists are brilliant over the phone. Seniors must be aware that even the most trustworthy voice can be up to no good, so they should avoid giving too much information. Even innocent conversation can give a good scammer the tools to get more and more info. Some information can put seniors’ safety at risk, not just their money. For instance, some callers may be attempting to find out if the senior lives alone to plot a robbery. By intervening in such conversation, a caretaker can double as security.
- Avoid signing agreements without full comprehension Sometimes, seniors will subscribe to a service without fully understanding the implications or simply to get the salespeople to stop calling. Caretakers can serve as an intermediary when seniors are attempting to make purchases, advising them on the costs and terms. They will also have their own managers to defer to, who can reach out for the help of an attorney if needed.
- Avoid unwanted guests Numerous cheats will act like door-to-door sales representatives and attempt to offer seniors something to buy on the spot, presenting various new items and lots of printed materials that should be signed up immediately and paid immediately. This extortion plot is perilous, in light of the fact that the cordial sales representative has all the attributes of being learned and reliable. Assisted living shields residents from these visitors and in-home personal care givers can more easily tell them to take a hike without feeling overwhelmed by the pitch.
- Avoid receiving inadequate goods or services Services are rife with people taking advantage of seniors who aren’t in the best frame of mind to ensure they get what they paid for. The best senior subject fraud security tip in this occasion is to hire a reputable contractor in the region. Seniors should demand references and a detailed agreement before handing over any money, and should contact the National Fraud Information Center or Better Business Bureau in the event that they are uncertain. Assisted living takes care of many contract services for their residents, so they will never have to deal with the prospect of being taken advantage of; and even in a home setting, caretakers can ensure any hired services are up to the mark and that the payment terms are agreeable, and if not, can alert the senior’s family to the goings on.