Anyone can fall for a scam. While studies have found young adults fall for more scams than older adults, older adults tend to lose money to scammers. Scams come via emails, social media, phone calls, and door-to-door. The best defense against a scam is to stop them before they can begin.
Some of the reasons the elderly are targeted include:
- Willingness to listen
- Old-fashioned teachings of always answering the phone and being polite to a stranger
- Memory decline
Some of the key scams targeting seniors are the grandparent scam, Medicare, or IRS scams that target fear. There are home contractor scams that also target fear and the need for a safe home. There’s the sweepstakes scam that targets an older adult’s need for financial security in a time of increasing medical expenses and tight budgeting.
All of these are easily defeated with a few reminders and lessons. Make sure your parents know these tips.
No Government Agency Will Demand Money Over the Phone
If your parents truly owed money for a speeding ticket, unpaid taxes, or another fine, no government agency will demand immediate payment over the phone. They would send a certified letter and allow time for your parents to look into the matter and determine if they did make a mistake. Many agencies would recommend a face-to-face meeting at the local IRS office, etc.
Anyone Demanding Payment Via Gift Cards is a Scammer
Scammers have a few ways they demand the money. One of the more popular ones directs your parents to go to a local store and purchase gift cards. No agency or company will want the payment via a store gift card.
Home Repairs Shouldn’t Be Hired on the Spot
One of the scams that seniors often fall for is “contractors” who are driving by the house and notice something urgently wrong. It might be an issue with a roof. The contractor is concerned about their safety and offers to do the work for a discount if they pay the deposit immediately.
Your parents should not hire contractors on the spot. If they didn’t initiate the free estimate, it’s likely to be a scam. They need to take the contractor’s name and investigate. States often keep lists of recommended, licensed contractors. Also, look for reviews of that contractor to see what others say.
With Caregivers, Your Parents Won’t Feel Lonely
For scams that target your parent’s desire to have someone to talk to, there’s a great way to prevent them. Hire home care services specifically for companionship with a caregiver. With companionship services, your mom and dad have someone to talk to as often as they want.
Companionship with caregivers can be arranged once or twice a week or every day. Call a home care agency to discuss prices and schedules.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Cave Junction, OR, please contact the caring staff at Southern Oregon In-Home Care today! Proudly Serving Seniors in Josephine & Jackson Counties, Oregon. Call us today! (541) 236-4247.