We are all flooded with those aggravating robocalls and unwanted telemarketer solicitations, and though it may seem simple enough to protect yourself from falling prey to a scammer, it’s actually not difficult to become taken in by what seems like a believable scenario – particularly for senior loved ones. As a matter of fact, an astounding $36 billion is scammed from seniors on an annual basis, and quite often these funds are unrecoverable, wiping out a lifetime of savings and leaving older adults in financial distress.
The FBI wants us to be aware of these top senior scams in order to keep the older adults we love safe.
The Miracle Cure
When diagnosed with a chronic health condition, finding a cure or effective treatment option is a leading concern – one thing scammers are now using for their advantage by offering “miracle” cures that could really do more harm than good, both to a senior’s health and wallet. These suggestions can help:
- First and foremost, do not ever take any medications, even over-the-counter meds, vitamins, or supplements, without a doctor’s approval.
- Deceptive advertising and too-good-to-be-true promises, particularly in combination with a celebrity recommendation, are cause for suspicion – in particular those promoted as a “cure” without any detrimental side effects.
- When in question, consult with the Better Business Bureau and/or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to uncover if any complaints have been lodged against the seller or about the product.
Final Wishes Fraud
Making funeral arrangements for someone you care about is an emotionally-wrought time, making senior loved ones vulnerable to people who wish to take advantage of them. When organizing a funeral, the following details are worthwhile to know:
- Older persons should always have a trustworthy member of the family or friend with them while making final arrangements for a loved one.
- Price-shop by phone ahead of selecting a funeral home. They are legally mandated to supply pricing.
- Purchase of either a casket or embalming isn’t required for cremations. These are unnecessary add-ons that may cost an older adult thousands of extra dollars.
- Review contracts thoroughly prior to signing anything.
Telemarketers love to focus on the elderly, who may be lonely and enjoy participating in a discussion with them, and who may not recognize their scam techniques. Watch out for:
- “Free” prizes that require a small fee to be paid for any reason.
- A request for credit card number or any other personal/financial information from anyone who is unfamiliar.
- A push to decide right away about a purchase.
- Services that require payment ahead of time.
Absolute Companion Care, the home health care Baltimore families trust, can help protect aging parents from scams just like these, by providing regular, ongoing, trustworthy companionship, and by serving as a resource to help seniors to be aware and cautious about the potential for fraud. Call us at 410-357-9640 for more information about our home health care in Baltimore and the surrounding communities.