Senior Scams

We’re all bombarded with those aggravating robocalls and unwanted telemarketer solicitations, and even though it may seem simple enough to protect yourself from falling prey to a scammer, it is actually quite easy to become taken in by what seems like a believable scenario – especially for senior loved ones. As a matter of fact, an astounding $36 billion is scammed from older adults every year, and sometimes 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 three senior scams to help keep our loved ones safe.

The Miracle Cure

When seniors are informed they have a long-term medical condition, tracking down a cure or effective treatment option is a high priority – something scammers are now using to their advantage by offering “miracle” cures that may really do more harm than good, both to a senior’s health and wallet. The following tips can help:

  • To start with, do not ever take any medications, even over-the-counter meds, vitamins, or supplements, without having the doctor’s approval.
  • Deceptive advertising and too-good-to-be-true promises, especially in conjunction with a Hollywood recommendation, are reason for suspicion – in particular those touted as a “cure” without any unwanted side effects.
  • When in question, talk to the Better Business Bureau and/or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to find out if any complaints have been lodged against the seller or about the product.

Final Wishes Fraud

Making funeral arrangements for a family member is an emotionally-wrought time, leaving older adults vulnerable to individuals who wish to take advantage of them. When organizing a funeral, the following details are important to understand:

  • Senior citizens should always have a reliable family member or friend together with them while making final arrangements for a loved one.
  • Price-shop by telephone before selecting a funeral home, as they are mandated for legal reasons to provide pricing.
  • Purchase of either a casket or embalming isn’t needed for cremations – add-ons that could possibly cost a senior loved one thousands of extra and unnecessary funds.
  • Examine agreements meticulously prior to signing anything.

Telemarketer Tips

Telemarketers love to focus on older adults, who might be lonely and revel in engaging in a discussion with them, and who might not realize their scam methods. Watch out for:

  • “Free” prizes which require a 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 at once about a purchase.
  • Services which require payment in advance.

Enhanced Home Care, the home health care Johnson County families trust, will help protect senior loved ones from scams just like these, by providing regular, ongoing, trusted companionship, and by serving as a resource to empower older adults to be aware and cautious about the potential for fraud. Email us via our contact form or call us at 913-327-0000 for additional information about our home care services in Kansas City and the surrounding communities.