While everyone regardless of age is susceptible to today’s complex financial scams and frauds, this is especially true for seniors. Criminals often target older people for their scams because seniors normally have more money than younger individuals, and are not as knowledgeable about modern fraud techniques.
If you have an elderly loved one, it is very important that you proactively take steps to ensure that they don’t fall victim to criminal activity from people who wish to harm them.
Let’s take a closer look at 5 scams and frauds that are the most common with regard to seniors and how you can avoid them.
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Criminal activity with regard to Medicare is rampant in society today. Scammers often contact seniors and represent themselves as legitimate government employees. They extract from older people information such as their social security number, banking information and other personal data. It is critical that you inform your loved one regularly that nobody from Medicare will ever contact them requesting such information.
By keeping this warning foremost in mind, seniors will be much less likely to be fooled by criminals who are claiming that they are calling from the offices of Medicare. Should an older person ever receive such a call, they should never give out any personal information and immediately hang up.
Similar to Medicare fraud, some criminals will prey on seniors by pretending to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Should a loved one ever receive such a call, they need to refrain from giving out any information. The IRS will never call any tax payer and ask for personal financial data. The agency normally operates only through written correspondence. Older adults should be warned about fraudulent people contacting them, allegedly representing the IRS.
When people lose a loved one, they can be extremely vulnerable to scams and fraud. Some criminals take advantage of seniors by scanning the local obituaries and contacting surviving family members to inform them that the recently deceased person left a large outstanding debt that needs to be paid.
Older people need to be extremely careful when receiving such a call or correspondence. Verification of the source of the contact must be done before any action is taken. Encourage your loved one to always discuss such an occurrence with you.
Usually after a natural disaster strikes, criminals will start making phone calls, representing themselves as employees of a well-known charity. These individuals prey on the heart strings of older people and induce them to make a contribution to help victims affected by the disaster. It is very important to help your older loved one distinguish between a legitimate charity and a scam. They should make no contributions to anything before discussing it with you first.
This scam is one of the saddest of all. In this type of crime, a person will call an older adult and pretend to be their grandchild. The caller claims that they are in some sort of trouble and need money sent to them immediately. Some seniors can’t distinguish that the voice of the caller is not their grandchild and will send money. Discussing this kind of fraud proactively before it happens to your loved one will go a long way towards helping them avoid this type of criminal activity.
Frontier Management is Here to Help
Protecting your loved ones from frauds and scams is extremely important. Discussing the many types of criminal behavior out there today with them will be extremely helpful. If you have any concerns about the overall well-being of the senior in your life, our highly experienced and compassionate team is here to help. We cordially invite you to visit one of our beautiful senior living communities, take a tour and speak to our friendly staff.