It’s a sad fact that there are unscrupulous people out there who target older adults and try to trick them out of their money or steal their identities. The FBI says scammers consider seniors good targets for several reasons. For one thing, older adults often have some money saved up and own their homes. They also grew up in a time when people were more trusting. In addition, seniors aren’t as likely to report that they have fallen for a scam because they don’t want to appear incapable of caring for themselves and are embarrassed. Because seniors are such a common target for scammers, it is important for family caregivers to take the time to talk to them about scams and how to avoid them. One way to do that is to make them aware of common scams that they may encounter. Below are two of the latest scams to that are targeting older adults.
#1: Social Security Spoofs
Thieves are calling older adults claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. They tell the senior that they could be arrested or be subject to other legal actions if they don’t either call a certain telephone number or press a number to resolve the supposed problem. They might also claim the senior’s Social Security number has been suspended and that they are calling to help them reactivate it.
Caregivers should instruct their loved ones to hang up without providing any information if they receive a call like this. The Social Security Administration does not call individuals for information unless they already have ongoing communication with them, such as when the person initiates contact. They also would never threaten legal action over the phone.
#2: Grandparent Scam
The grandparent scam involves someone calling the senior claiming to be a grandchild who is in trouble and needs money. They ask the older adult to send them a wire transfer or gift card. In a new twist on the scam, the thieves may ask the senior to send cash. They might ask that the cash be divided into separate envelopes and sent using a variety of carriers.
Instead of reacting immediately to this kind of call, caregivers should advise the senior to call the grandchild back using the number they have for them. Caregivers who discover their family member has fallen for this scam should report it to the shipping companies used as they may be able to retrieve the envelopes before they are delivered. Also, file a report with the FTC.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Larkspur, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.