What You Must Know to Protect your Loved One
The Baby Boomer generation was taught to be polite and respectful. They are less likely to report fraud and, many times, don't realize that they have been scamed until it is too late.
A caregiver can keep up with the latest scams and inform their loved one what to be on the watch for.
The TOP TEN according to the National Council on Aging identifies these as the most popular scams.
1) Medicare ...and Insurance Frauds. This is where they may pose as an insurance representative and get the seniors private information or provide false services to bill Medicare.
2) Prescriptions. These are most popular online and many of the lower priced medications are counterfeit. Not only is it a loss of money but may be dangerous to their health.
3) Funeral and Cemetery. The NCOA says the FBI is warning seniors about scammers trying to claim money from the deceased family. Or the funeral Director may insist they need more services than atre really required.
4) Anti-Aging Products. Con Artists know seniors are always looking for ways to look younger and they are out there selling fake products and Botox. Fake labs use the same root ingredient, botulism neurotoxin, which is one of sciences most toxic.
5) Telemarketing. This is the most common and they target residents in retirement communities, preying on their lonliness and politeness.
6) Internet. Since more are coming online and are naive to the scams encountered, they become perfect targets for pop up browsers and viruses.
7) Investments. Pyramid schemes are big on this list.
8) Mortgage. Many seniors own their homes outright, which leaves them prey to unethical reverse mortgage schemes. Reverse mortgage in itself can be helpful to some, but the schemes very often force them out of their homes.
9) Sweepstakes. While the lure of free money is appealing, no one should have to pay anything up front to receive it.
10) Grandparents. A popular scam involving someone calling and saying " Hi, Grandma! Guess who this is?" When grandma figures it out, incorrectly of course, the " Grandchild" then requests money to be sent for an emergency to be wired, usually to Canada, and by the time someone notices it is too late.
It is a shame that there are so many despicable people preying on others but it is a reality. Deal only with those you know or have been referred to you by a reliable source. Tell the elderly do not talk to strangers, and don't believe anyone calling with a sweet, pleasant , friendly voice that they have never met. And don't buy anything off the internet. Maybe that will protect them to a small degree.