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How to Recognize and Avoid Scams That Target Seniors

By Kevin McClarren, 9:00 am on

It could happen to anyone. An elderly person gets a call from someone who seems sincere, requesting money for what could be a variety of different reasons, but the senior doesn’t realize there’s something wrong with situation. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Warren senior home care, offers these tips to help your elderly loved one recognize and avoid scams geared toward his or her age group.

Relative in Distress Scam

A common scam targeting the elderly involves the con artist getting the senior to wire money based on the premise that a family member is injured, in jail, or otherwise in need of cash. Be sure your loved one understands you will never have someone he or she does not know ask for money on your behalf, for any reason.

Internet Fraud

The elderly are particularly susceptible to email and phishing scams, which often appear to be from legitimate sources. Advise your loved one to never respond to emails asking for personal information. If the email appears to be from a legitimate source, such as your loved one’s bank, he or she should contact the source by phone or in person to verify the request.

Sweepstakes/Lottery Scams

Scammers will often contact seniors and convince them they have won a sweepstakes or lottery. In order to claim the prize, the senior will have to send in some type of processing fee. The unsuspecting senior sends in the fee and either receives no prize or the check for the prize money bounces. You should inform your loved one that legitimate lotteries and sweepstakes will never require them to pay a fee to claim a prize.

Funeral Scams

Seniors are often concerned about the burden of funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses. This makes your loved one a tempting target for scammers looking to sell non-existing funeral services or services with unnecessary charges. The best way to prevent this type of fraud is to make an appointment for you and your loved one to meet with a reputable funeral home to discuss arrangements in person.

Even though some seniors may be savvy enough to know when they are being swindled, others may not be so fortunate due to decreased cognitive abilities, which can also impact other aspects of life. If your loved one faces any mental challenges preventing him or her from completing daily tasks, aprofessionally trained caregiver may be able to help.For hourly and live-in care Warren families can get behind, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregiving services are all backed with 100% satisfaction, and you’ll never be asked to sign a long-term contract. For more information, call a friendly Care Manager today at 908.450.9400.