Signs Of Fraud Against Seniors
What at home senior care providers should know
Thousands upon thousands of seniors fall victim to fraud each year. To make matters worse, it is not only strangers targeting seniors but also their family members and friends. According to some estimates, more than 90% percent of reported frauds against seniors are committed by the people closest to them. This is why it is essential that seniors and at home senior care providers are aware of the dangers of scams.
According to the National Council on Aging, the most common scams targeting seniors and older adults include:
- Healthcare/Medicare/health insurance fraud includes obtaining personal information from seniors in order to bill health care providers for services that weren’t provided.
- Counterfeit prescription drugs scam includes seniors purchasing medications online. Instead of receiving the meds they need, seniors may buy substances that can jeopardize their health.
- Funeral and cemetery scams include scam artists preying on widows or widowers, claiming that the deceased owes them money. The funeral variant includes funeral homes charging more for services than what they actually cost.
- Fraudulent anti-aging products scam includes scam artist selling seniors fake anti-aging products.
- Telemarketing includes fraudsters pretending to sell services or products over the phone with the aim of getting personal information from seniors.
- Internet fraud includes a wide variety of scams aimed at obtaining the personal information of seniors.
- Investment schemes include fraudsters tricking seniors into investing in a fake service or product. The Pyramid scheme is a popular example of this scam.
- Homeowner/Reverse mortgages scheme includes criminals promising seniors money or property for the title to their home.
- Sweepstakes and lottery scams include con artists telling seniors that they have won a prize and need to make a payment in order to collect it.
- The grandparent scam involves scammers pretending to be grandchildren in need of money.
Due to the growing number of frauds exclusively targeting older individuals, at home senior care providers should talk to seniors about these popular scams and inform them of the many ways to protect themselves from becoming the victim of financial abuse.
In addition to refusing to provide anyone with their personal information over the phone, seniors should ignore anyone who calls or comes to their home to try to sell them anything. At home senior care providers may also want to talk to seniors about legal matters, advising them to put their affairs in order on time and consider whether durable powers of attorney are a good choice for them.
In case a senior does fall victim to any type of fraud, family members or at home senior care providers should call their bank and credit card company as soon as possible in order to cancel cards and change identification numbers.