As parents age, it’s highly likely they will need their adult children to start helping with various aspects of their lives. Retired aging adults can often maintain independence in their homes for many years. But it’s still helpful to have children and grandchildren around to assist as needed.
Moreover, even aging parents capable of self-care, cooking, and other daily responsibilities often need guidance regarding financial matters and potential scams.
Scams Targeting Aging Adults
Unfortunately, many scammers target aging adults. Not only does this demographic typically keep money in the bank, they also tend to be naïve with regards to potential dangers of phone and internet scams.
Scammers aren’t always strangers. It’s common for a scam to originate from a caregiver or close friend or family member. Therefore, it’s even more essential to be proactive about scam prevention, offering your loved one protection before something goes wrong.
How to Protect Your Parents
Here are a few things families can do to protect their aging parents from scams:
- Educate: Sit down and discuss common types of scams. Explain why parents should be cautious when people ask for personal information or money. Teach them to hang up the phone or throw away the letter. Educate them about the various ways to identify the signs of a potential scam.
- Unlist: Make sure your parent’s phone number is unlisted. You might choose to cancel the landline and give your loved one a cell phone instead. Scam calls aren’t as frequent on a cellular line. Cell phones also offer apps for scam protection, such as blocking phone numbers that call repeatedly.
- Credit Report: Check their credit reports annually. Seek professional services immediately if you see that any fraudulent accounts have been recently opened.
- Caregivers: Be diligent about screening caregivers and in-home help. Run background checks. Consider hiring people only through reputable service providers.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.