Scams Against Seniors

We’re all overloaded with those aggravating robocalls and unwanted telemarketer solicitations, and though it may seem simple enough to steer clear of falling prey to a scammer, it is honestly not difficult to get pulled in to what appears to be a plausible scenario – particularly for older adults. As a matter of fact, an astounding $36 billion is scammed from aging adults annually, and in most cases these funds are unrecoverable, consuming a lifetime of savings and leaving seniors in financial distress.

The FBI wants us to be aware of these top three scams against seniors to help keep the older adults we love safe.

The Miracle Cure

When diagnosed with a chronic health issue, finding a cure or an effective treatment option is a leading priority – one thing scammers are now utilizing to their advantage by offering “miracle” cures that could really do more harm than good, both to a senior’s health and wallet. The following tips will help:

  • First off, under no circumstances should an older adult take any medications, even over-the-counter meds, vitamins, or supplements, without having their physician’s approval.
  • Inaccurate advertising and too-good-to-be-true promises, specifically in conjunction with a Hollywood celebrity endorsement, are reason for suspicion – in particular those recommended as a “cure” with no adverse side effects.
  • When in question, seek the advice of the Better Business Bureau and/or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to determine if any complaints have been lodged against the seller or about the product.

Final Wishes Fraud

Making funeral arrangements for a loved one is an emotionally-wrought time, placing senior loved ones at risk of individuals who want to take advantage of them. When planning a funeral, the following information is good to know:

  • Older adults should always have a trusted family member or friend with them while making final arrangements for a loved one.
  • Price-shop by phone ahead of deciding on a funeral home, as they are legally required to give you pricing.
  • Purchase of either a casket or embalming is never needed for cremations, These are add-ons that may possibly cost a senior loved one thousands of additional dollars and unnecessary funds.
  • Review contracts thoroughly ahead of signing anything.

Telemarketer Tips

Telemarketers love to focus on older adults, who might be lonely and enjoy engaging in a conversation with them, and who may not recognize their scam tactics. Avoid:

  • “Free” rewards which require a small fee to be paid for any reason.
  • A request for credit card or any other personal/financial information from anybody who is unknown.
  • Pressure to decide instantly about a purchase.
  • Services that require payment ahead of time.

At-Home Care Company, provider of senior care in Des Moines, IA and the surrounding areas, can help protect cherished loved ones from scams just like these, by providing regular, ongoing, trusted companionship, and by serving as a resource to empower seniors to be aware and cautious about the potential for fraud. Contact us at (515) 292-2650 for more information about our exceptional home care services.