We’re all overloaded with those irritating robocalls and unwanted telemarketer solicitations, and while it may seem simple enough to prevent falling prey to a scammer, it is actually quite easy to get taken in by what appears to be a believable scenario – particularly for seniors. As a matter of fact, an astounding $36 billion is scammed from the elderly on an annual basis, and often these funds are unrecoverable, depleting a lifetime of savings and leaving older adults in financial distress.
The FBI wants us to understand these three widespread senior scams in order to keep the older adults we love safe.
The Miracle Cure
When informed they have a long-term medical condition, finding a remedy or effective treatment option is a leading concern – something scammers are now using to their advantage by touting “miracle” cures that could really do more harm than good, both to a senior’s health and wallet. The following tips can help avoid these senior scams:
- First and foremost, do not take any medications, even over-the-counter meds, vitamins, or supplements, without a physician’s approval.
- Inaccurate marketing and advertising and too-good-to-be-true promises, specifically in conjunction with a Hollywood endorsement, are reason for suspicion – especially those recommended as a “cure” without any unfavorable side effects.
- When in doubt, confer with the Better Business Bureau and/or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to find out if any complaints have been lodged against the seller or about the product.
Final Wishes Fraud
Making funeral arrangements for someone you care about is an emotionally-wrought time, causing the elderly to be susceptible to those who want to take advantage of them. When planning a funeral, the following details are worthwhile to know:
- Older persons should always have a dependable member of the family or friend with them while making final arrangements for a loved one.
- Price-compare by phone prior to deciding on a funeral home, because they are required legally to supply pricing.
- Purchase of either a casket or embalming is never required for cremations – these are add-ons that can cost a senior thousands of additional and unnecessary funds.
- Review agreements completely ahead of signing anything.
Telemarketers love to target the elderly, who might be lonely and enjoy participating in a conversation with them, and who might not recognize their scam techniques. Beware of:
- “Free” awards which require a small fee to be paid for any reason.
- A request for bank card or other personal/financial information from anyone who is unknown.
- Pressure to decide immediately about a purchase.
- Services that need payment in advance.
Anthem Home Care will help protect aging parents from scams targeting seniors such as these, by providing regular, ongoing, trusted companionship, and by serving as a resource to help older adults to be aware and careful of the potential for fraud. Call us at 361-643-2323 to find out more about our home care in Portland and the surrounding areas we serve.