According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), older adults are a common target for unscrupulous scammers. They say that scammers love to go after seniors because they see them as easy targets. Seniors grew up in an era when people were more trusting and taught to be polite to everyone. They also often have money saved up or own their house. However, it isn’t just factors like these that make older adults good targets.
AARP’s Fraud Watch Network says that certain behaviors, like those listed below, can also make older adults more likely to fall prey to a scam.
Respecting People in Positions of Authority
There are lots of scams out there in which crooks impersonate authority figures, like IRS or Social Security representatives or police officers. They demand money over the phone or ask for personal information, like financial account numbers or Social Security numbers. If your aging relative is inclined to cooperate with authority figures without question, they may give out this information without thinking about it. Caregivers can prevent this from happening by reminding seniors that such organizations do not ask for personal information over the phone or demand payment via wire transfer or using gift cards.
They Like to Help
Older adults who like to be helpful might fall for scams in which a scammer impersonates someone they know and asks for money. They may also contribute money to fake charities, such as those pretending to be veterans’ organizations.
They’ve Fallen for a Scam Before
Unfortunately, if your aging relative has fallen for a scam before, they become an even bigger target. That’s because the thieves add their name to a list of victims and sell it to other criminals.
Older adults who spend a lot of time alone and feel lonely are more likely to fall for the fake friendly nature of thieves. They want someone to talk to, so they chat, sometimes giving out information they shouldn’t. If your aging relative is lonely, homecare is one way to alleviate the problem. Homecare providers can check in on the older adult a couple times per week or daily, offering friendly companionship as well as assistance.
It’s unlikely that family caregivers can change many of these behaviors in their aging relatives. In fact, some of them are desirable in other situations, so they may not even want to. However, family caregivers can help to protect their older family members from fraud simply by talking to them about it. Caregivers should warn seniors about new scams they hear about and remind them never to give out personal information over the phone.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in Lakeland FL, please contact the caring staff at Helping Hands Nursing Services today. To learn about our affordable rates and obtain a FREE assessment for your loved one, call (863) 616-1888.
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