Your aging loved ones hold an important place in your heart and in your life. They have been there for you throughout your entire life. They have protected you, keeping you safe and out of harm’s way.
As your loved ones get older, the tables begin to turn – and it becomes your job to protect them. Protecting your aging loved ones goes beyond installing smoke alarms and anti-theft devices. Elder fraud is a serious problem among the senior community. It can take place in a variety of ways – and strangers are not always the only culprits. Keep the following in mind to protect your loved ones from elder fraud.
There are many forms of elder fraud that your loved one could fall victim to, including: false lottery winnings, home repair fraud and investment fraud. Stay on top of the latest scams making the rounds of the elderly so you will be prepared if it happens to your loved one.
Add your aging loved one’s phone number to the federal “Do Not Call” list. Telemarketing scams are some of the easiest ways for scammers to find your loved one. As a person gets older, they spend more time at home – and they are often lonely. All of these extra hours alone provide scammers the perfect opportunity to call and prey on your loved one.
Make sure your aging loved one knows how to say “No” to telemarketers. Teach your loved ones key points to listen for, such as a free gift or overstated urgency (ex. “Act Now to Protect Your Home from Invasion”). Practice with your loved one on the phone so they will be ready to say no.
Teach your aging loved one about the dangers of internet scams. The internet is full of fake offers and phishing scams – which can lead to elder fraud, including identity theft. Discuss with your loved one the option of helpful add-ons, such as ad-blockers and website blockers. Remind them that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Always treat your loved one with respect – you can teach them about the dangers of elder fraud without treating them like a child. Your aging loved one needs your help and protection – but you have to give it in such a way that he/she is involved in the process.