Seniors can be an incredibly vulnerable demographic. Unfortunately, this has led to a number of unethical parties attempting to take advantage of the elderly. Given that many seniors are trusting and statistically unlikely to report criminal activities, scams targeting the elderly are commonly perceived as being low-risk crimes. To help protect the safety of seniors, the Albuquerque elder care experts at Home Care Assistance share several scams that aging adults and their loved ones should watch out for.

  1. Mail Fraud & Telemarketing Scams – The telephone and regular mail services are the two mediums through which seniors are most often scammed. Unethical parties can contact seniors via either one of these mediums with claims of having something valuable to offer. More often than not, these include promises of increased financial health in exchange for a modest investment. In most cases, products never arrive, investments do not pan out, and services are not rendered. Moreover, the individual’s personal and financial information will have been compromised.
  1. Counterfeit Prescriptions Sold Online – Many seniors turn to the Internet for prescription drugs in an effort to make their fixed incomes go further. This scam can be doubly dangerous in that it could prevent seniors from getting the medications that they truly need or provide them with questionable products that may cause physical harm.
  1. Medicare Fraud – In the US, every adult over the age of 65 is qualified to receive Medicare. Understanding this, unethical individuals who prey on seniors will often use Medicare as a way to obtain payment information and personal details. Senior adults should always make sure that they are working with legitimate and licensed medical institutions before offering any personal information.
  1. Jury Duty & IRS Scams – Seniors can receive phone calls from people claiming to work at either the courthouse or with the IRS. The caller will then state that the individual has either missed jury duty or has failed to pay taxes. To avoid having an officer sent over with an arrest warrant, seniors are encouraged to pay the related fees immediately over the phone. These calls can lead to significant financial spending, and will compromise the personal information of the individual. Thus, in instances such as these, seniors should always seek help from a trusted family member or a financial or legal adviser.

Scams targeting the seniors are unfortunately rising as the aging population continues to grow. However, one of the best ways to protect your aging parent or loved one is to provide them with education and information about possible scams, how to avoid them and what to do if they think they have been influenced by scammers.

If your aging parent or loved one has been the victim or scams, or you feel that they may no longer be able to live alone safely, consider help from a professional caregiver. Professional hourly caregivers can provide assistance on a part-time basis, while Albuquerque live-in caregivers can provide around the clock monitoring to ensure safety. To learn more about support services for seniors, call 505-798-0800 and speak with a friendly Home Care Assistance Care Manager.

Published On: January 16th, 2015 / Categories: Senior Finances /