Protecting Your Senior Loved One From Scams: Advice for Michigan Caregivers
The statistics on seniors and scams are frightening. AARP estimates that one in five seniors has fallen victim to a scam at some point in their life. Older adults are at higher risk for being victimized for many reasons ranging from being lonely to being too trusting. Technology has made it even easier for scammers to take advantage of seniors.
Protecting Senior Loved Ones from Scams
If you are the caregiver or adult child of a senior, what can you do to decrease their risk of becoming a victim of a scam? Here are a few ideas:
Home Repair Scams
Discourage them from hiring anyone to help with home repairs or maintenance without your having time to meet them. Strangers showing up on the doorstep offering deals on a new roof or driveway sealing that sound too good to be true usually are. Door-to-door scams are one of the most common ways seniors are taken advantage of each year.
Older adults are the victim of telemarketing scams in larger numbers than the general population. It is often because they are too polite to just hang up on someone. Help decrease the odds of them even getting these phone calls by placing them on the Do Not Call Registry. It won’t eliminate their risk, but it will help to decrease it.
Monitor Financial Accounts
Encourage them to let you help them manage their bills and finances or to at least allow you to have access to their accounts. That way you can monitor them online and watch for unusual activity or anything that would cause you to suspect they have been the victim of identity theft or another type of scam.
Lock It Up
Make sure your loved one keeps their identifying information locked up at home. That would include their Medicare card, Social Security card, bank accounts and anything else that would give someone access to their personal information.
To learn more about seniors and scams, AARP developed a video library you can view. Avoiding Scams will help you understand how to best keep your senior loved one safe from scams and fraud.