Scams Against the Elderly

We’re all bombarded with those annoying robocalls and unwanted telemarketer solicitations, and though it may seem simple enough to prevent falling prey to a scammer, it is honestly quite easy to get pulled in to what seems to be a plausible scenario – particularly for older adults. In fact, an astounding $36 billion is scammed from seniors annually, and frequently these funds are unrecoverable, wiping out a lifetime of savings and leaving older adults in financial distress.

The FBI wants us to be familiar with these three common scams against the elderly to help keep the older adults we love safe.

The Miracle Cure

When informed they have a chronic health condition, tracking down a remedy or effective treatment option is a number one concern for seniors – one thing scammers are now using to their advantage is offering “miracle” cures which could actually do more harm than good, both to a senior’s health and wallet. These suggestions will help:

  • To begin with, do not ever take any medications, even over-the-counter meds, vitamins, or supplements, without the doctor’s approval.
  • Inaccurate advertising and too-good-to-be-true promises, specifically in combination with a celebrity recommendation, are reason for suspicion – especially those identified as a “cure” without any unwanted side effects.
  • When in question, seek advice from the Better Business Bureau and/or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to find out if any grievances have been lodged against the seller or about the product.

Final Wishes Fraud

Making funeral arrangements for a family member is an emotionally-wrought time, making the elderly susceptible to individuals who want to take advantage of them. When planning a funeral, the following information is important to know:

  • Older persons should always have a trusted relative or friend with them while making final arrangements for a loved one.
  • Price-compare by phone before choosing a funeral home, because they are legally mandated to supply pricing.
  • Purchase of either a casket or embalming isn’t required for cremations – instead, these are add-ons that may cost a senior loved one countless additional and unnecessary funds.
  • Examine contracts completely before signing anything.

Telemarketer Tips

Telemarketers love to focus on the elderly, who may be lonely and revel in engaging in a discussion with them, and who may well not realize their scam tactics. Avoid:

  • “Free” rewards that involve a fee to be paid for any reason.
  • A request for bank card or other personal/financial information from anybody who is unfamiliar.
  • Pressure to decide immediately about a purchase.
  • Services that call for payment in advance.

Inspired Home Care, the home health care Elmhurst families trust, can help protect seniors from scams just like these, by providing regular, ongoing, trusted companionship, and by serving as a resource to help seniors to be aware and wary of the potential for fraud. Contact us at 847-787-7572 to find out more about our top-rated home care services.

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