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275 East 4th Street, Suite 345, Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 796-2540
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Senior Scams: 4 Ways to Protect Your Aging Loved One

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Senior Scams: 4 Ways to Protect Your Aging Loved One

Scams that target seniors are costly and prevalent. It is important that we protect our aging loved ones who may be vulnerable to the evolving tricks and tactics of scammers. Here are 4 ways to help minimize their risk. 

According to the FBI, senior citizens lost almost $1 billion dollars through targeted scams last year alone. Scammers get increasingly smarter and more sophisticated in finding new ways to target those who may be vulnerable. Because of this, it is crucial that we take the steps necessary to protect our aging loved ones and talk with them about the warning signs before they become a victim.

Here are 4 ways that you can help protect your loved one from common senior-targeted scams.  

Educate Often

Scammers are constantly changing and adapting the strategies they use to take advantage of seniors. Refresh your knowledge of current trends in senior scams and then check in with your loved one weekly to ask them about any unusual emails, phone calls, or physical mail. Your vigilance and consistency can help trigger important warning signs if your loved one becomes the target of a scam, and your weekly check-ins can help catch any potential breaches. 

And while technology has become a fantastic tool that seniors can use to stay connected with family, friends, and healthcare providers, or even pay bills, it also creates a huge vulnerability. If your aging loved one uses technology of any kind, including the most basic telephone to make general phone calls, educate them often as new scams emerge. 

Here are a few of the most common scams to watch out for:

  • Medicare and insurance scams asking for money for false services

  • Social Security scams falsely threatening jail if you don’t pay money

  • Peer-to-peer payment scams to deposit money into someone else’s account

  • Account takeover scams pressuring you to click a link to falsely fix an “account error”

  • COVID-19 vaccination card scams targeting your personal information

  • Celebrity imposter scams targeting your money or personal information

  • Online romance scams from unscrupulous individuals looking for money

  • Scammers pretending to be grandchildren who are in trouble and need money fast

AARP published a helpful article that provides details regarding many of the above schemes and how you can help your aging loved one avoid them. 


One of the best ways to protect your senior loved one and minimize potential damages caused by scams is by monitoring their activity the best you can. Again, having regular conversations with your loved one about their personal accounts, recent unsolicited phone calls or text messages, or information they have provided online is a great place to start. While having this conversation it is important to maintain boundaries and assure your loved one that you have good intentions and will not access personal records or accounts without their consent. 

Keep a close eye on nonverbal indicators as well. Has your senior loved one’s behavior changed? Are they more stressed or agitated? Are they making trips outside of the home more often? Many of the most common scams require action on the part of a senior to be successful. Keep an eye on behavior changes. 

Help Create Safeguards (anti-virus, spam blockers)

Most scams today happen through the use of technology. If your senior loved one uses a smartphone, desktop computer, laptop, or tablet, their risk of being a target of a scam increases. Luckily, there are several safeguards you can put into place, outside of education and self-monitoring, to help protect your aging loved one from being involved in a scam in the first place.

Help your senior loved one access tools such as anti-virus software, spam blockers, and credit monitoring services, some of which are free. Antivirus software alone has been shown to be between 90-98% effective in detecting malicious software. There are many solutions available on the market that can reduce risk. Here are a few tools and strategies that you may want to consider for protecting your senior loved one online

Hire a Care Manager

If you are concerned that your aging loved one is vulnerable to a scam or has already been a victim, you may want to consider hiring a care manager as an extra measure of support. Using an in-home care agency, such as Comfort Keepers, can build into your care plan a digital safety check or helping with mail to help identify potential fraudulent solicitations for money or account access. In-home care can also provide your aging loved one with companionship and additional support if needed. 

Interested in learning more about Comfort Keepers and our interactive approach to in-home care? Call (651) 796-2540