One of the tasks that many family caregivers perform for their older family members is keeping an eye on their finances and ensuring they aren’t taken advantage of. That can include making sure seniors don’t fall for scams that seek to steal their money or identity. Unfortunately, a recent survey conducted by the American International Group, or AIG, showed that many seniors aren’t aware of some common scams that frequently target older adults.
Scam Survey Results
The survey was conducted online and had the following results:
- 57 percent of respondents didn’t know about online romance scams in which the target is asked for money or something else that is valuable.
- 57 percent didn’t know about invoice scams in which a scammer pretends to be from a company, such as a utility company, and is calling to collect fees.
- 52 percent were unaware of prepaid debit or credit card scams in which a thief pretends to be from a company and asks for multiple payments using prepaid cards.
- 10 percent of respondents didn’t know about any of the top ten financial scams.
The good news is that the survey also showed that older adults are aware that they need to protect themselves from scams. That means that seniors are likely to be open to talking to a family caregiver about common scams they should watch out for.
Common Scams to Talk to Your Parent About
When older adults know about common scams they may encounter, they are much more likely to be able to protect themselves and avoid falling for them. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) offers a list of the top ten financial scams that target seniors on their website (ncoa.org).
Some of the common scams caregivers should talk to their elderly parents about are:
- Medicare Scams: One common Medicare scam involves someone calling the older adult pretending to be from
- Medicare. They ask for personal information to steal the senior’s identity. In another scam, the thieves offer fake services from a mobile “health center” in order to get the older adult’s Medicare information. They then use the information to send fake charges to Medicare and keep the money.
- Fake Accident Scam: In this scam, someone calls the senior saying that their child or grandchild has been in an accident and the hospital needs money to treat them.
- Phishing Scams: The older adult receives an email that looks like it is from a legitimate company. It asks them to click on a link or verify some personal information.
By spending time talking to their elderly parents, family caregivers can prevent them from losing money to unscrupulous scammers. It can also save caregivers time later when they might have to help their parents recover from identity theft.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable Home Health Care in Lawrenceville, GA, areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.
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