Senior Citizen Scams

We are all inundated with those irritating robocalls and unwanted telemarketer solicitations, and though it may seem simple enough to prevent falling prey to a scammer, it is in reality quite simple to become taken in by what appears to be a credible scenario – particularly for aging parents. In fact, an astounding $36 billion is scammed from seniors on an annual basis, and sometimes these funds are unrecoverable, depleting a lifetime of savings and leaving older adults in financial distress.

The FBI wants us to be familiar with these three senior citizen scams so that the older adults we love remain safe.

The Miracle Cure

When diagnosed with a chronic health issue, identifying a remedy or effective treatment option is a high concern – something scammers are now utilizing to their advantage by touting “miracle” cures that could actually do more harm than good, both to a senior’s health and wallet. These tips will help:

  • To begin with, never take any medications, even over-the-counter meds, vitamins, or supplements, without the doctor’s approval.
  • Deceptive advertisements and too-good-to-be-true promises, especially in combination with a celebrity endorsement, are reason for suspicion – particularly those promoted as a “cure” with no negative side effects.
  • When in doubt, check 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 or service.

Final Wishes Fraud

Making funeral arrangements for a family member is an emotionally-wrought time, leaving seniors vulnerable to people who want to take advantage of them. When planning a funeral, the following details are important to be aware of:

  • Senior citizens should always have a reliable family member or friend along with them while making final arrangements for a loved one.
  • Price-compare by telephone ahead of choosing a funeral home because they are legally required to present pricing.
  • Purchase of either a casket or embalming isn’t necessary for cremations – instead, these are add-ons that will cost a senior loved one thousands of extra and unnecessary funds.
  • Examine contracts thoroughly prior to signing anything.

Telemarketer Tips

Telemarketers love to focus on the elderly, who may be lonely and revel in engaging in a conversation with them, and who might not realize their scam practices. Beware of:

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

Morning Glory Home Care will help protect older adults from scams just like these, by providing regular, ongoing, trustworthy companionship, and by serving as a resource to help seniors to be aware and careful of the possibility for fraud. Call us at 618-667-8400 to learn how our home health aides in Chesterfield can help.

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