How Seniors Can Avoid Scams

By Doris Kasold, 9:00 am on

There seems to be no end to the scams created each day by unscrupulous people seeking to steal from the elderly. Sadly, thieves tend to target older people living on fixed incomes, hopingseniors will not see through the deception. While it may not be possible to catch every criminal, you can still help your elderly loved one safeguard his or her identity and finances. Try following these simple strategies, brought to you by the staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Tampa senior care.

Use Direct Deposit

Stealing checks from mailboxes may be an old-fashioned method for theft. However, a check can reveal valuable identity information that can be used to attempt further crimes. When possible, have any income derived from social security, stocks, and other sources directly deposited into your loved one’s bank account. Choosing online statements can also help eliminate a paper trail straight to your loved one’s identity and financial information.

Sign Up for the Do Not Call Registry

Scam artists are smooth talkers who prey on a senior adult’s loneliness and inability to say no to someone in need. Reduce the opportunities for these criminals to contact your loved one by eliminating the ability for telemarketers to call. The Do Not Call Registry is free and available to everyone. However, your loved one may need to re-register should he or she move or change telephone numbers.

Avoid Giving Out Personal Information

A common scam used against seniors is when a person impersonates an employee from an institution such as the Social Security office or a bank. Seniors should be warned to never give their personal information over the phone. Scammers can potentially use account numbers, social security numbers, and even birthdays to steal identities. A simple way to check for a scammer is to contact the institution directly and ask if they have called.

Be Wary of Free Services or Contests That Cost Money

Prescription discount cards, sweepstakes, and pleas for charity are just a few of the many ways thieves target seniors. As a general rule, anything providing a discount or offering a free award should not cost a dime to receive. Your loved one should check for fees and skip any offers that seem too good to be true.

Avoiding scammers may seem simple, but sometimes even the most independent seniors find themselves being swindled. Those facing any mental challenges may be especially susceptible to fraud, but a trained caregiver can help increase cognitive function to keep seniors more alert and aware. If you are thinking about in-home care for your senior loved one, give Home Care Assistance a call. We offer live-in and hourly care in Tampa, and our caregivers can assist with a variety of tasks that allow your loved one to remain in the comfort of home. Have any questions? Call one of our Care Managers at 727-330-7862 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Bootstrap 101 Template