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Help Your Elderly Loved One Avoid Scams

January 18th, 2016

road-sign-464653_1920We read about it in the newspaper and see it on television on almost a daily basis; stories about older people being scammed out of money, even entire life savings. Home care in Orlando experts, BrightStar Care, address why these scams are repeatedly perpetuated on the elderly and ways in which you can help your loved one avoid being a victim.

People in their 70s and 80s (or older) were raised in a simpler time. A person’s word was his or her bond, and folks were seemingly much more trustworthy than they are in today’s justifiably paranoid world. It is, therefore, understandable that an older person would accept the word of a seemingly honest person to perform a service around the house and, in doing so, inadvertently give him or her access to his or her home and personal information. By discussing safe living practices with your elderly loved one and passing on your concerns to the caregiver with regards to unsolicited vendors at the door or on the phone, you can help to minimize the exposure to scam artists.

With the intent to commit fraudulent acts, scammers will often call the home and try to extract personal information such as social security number, birth date, bank account details, credit card information, and/or other pertinent information. It’s a good idea to ask your loved one to consult with you or another trusted family member or their caregiver before disclosing any such details.

Along the same line, if your loved one is active on the Internet, it is important to instruct them in web safety. Explain to them the importance of not opening unsolicited emails and to never supply personal information upon request of such an email. Assure them it is OK to ask your opinion on any emails that might appear questionable as it is always better to err on the side of caution.

Very often, mail delivered by the post office can include seemingly legitimate offers for things like supplemental health insurance, life insurance, and discount prescription plans.
That is why it is important to protect your loved one from responding to these types of mailings. Medicare is a safe place to order discount drug cards, or investigate other legitimate companies before sharing private information. In short, never provide information to anyone who you haven’t contacted and investigated.

Finally, if you or your loved one is concerned about the potential of a scam being perpetrated, it is reasonable to have your loved one assign a power of attorney to either you, another family member, or an estate/financial manager to oversee their finances before they become unable to do so. Giving a power of attorney can help reduce the chances of your loved one being a victim of a scam. The experts at Home care in Orlando, BrightStar Care, are here to help. Please call 407-877-0720 for more information.

Topics: Lifestyle