Each year seniors are scammed out of more than 3 billion dollars. Even seniors who consider themselves to be pretty tech savvy can be scammed out of money by unscrupulous scammers. If your senior loved one is aging in place and you worry they’re going to be targeted by scammers here are a few things that you and their home care aides can do to help stop your senior loved one from being victimized.
Monitor Their Social Media
There are a lot of scams run through Facebook and social media that target seniors. Sometimes users pretend to be single seniors looking for love. In other cases the scammer will pose as the senior’s grandchild, niece, or nephew needing help and needing your loved one to wire them cash to get out of some bad situation. Make sure that you have the log in and password information for your senior loved one’s Facebook account and other social media accounts so you can see if scammers are trying to get money from your senior parent.
Get Rid Of A Home Phone Line
Often seniors keep a land line in their phone because it’s what they’re used to and because they may not find it very easy to work a cell phone or smart phone. But land line numbers are often targeted by scammers because it’s usually only seniors who have them. If your senior loved one is capable of using a cell phone or a smart phone you should have them use the cell phone only and get rid of the land line in their home.
Have A Home Care Provider Answer The Phone
If you can’t get rid of the land line entirely make sure that your loved one’s home care provider is the one answering the phone. A home care provider that knows all the tricks scammers use can run interference between scammers and your love done and make sure that your senior parent isn’t taking calls from scammers. A home care provider can be a big help for seniors to stop them from getting scammed. Many scammers will simply hang up and move on to easier prey if someone that knows their tricks picks up the phone and calls them out on their attempt to scam a senior.
Use Only Prepaid Debit Cards
Another smart thing to do is to give your senior parent prepaid debit cards instead of credit cards or bank cards to use. If they only have cards that have a preloaded amount of money then scammers won’t be able to access the senior’s full checking account. They also won’t be able to use that checking account information as a backdoor to get into investments, savings accounts, and other accounts that were created to fund your senior loved one’s golden years. When the money on a prepaid debit card is gone it’s gone and the scammer won’t be able to get any more money. Prepaid debit cards can also keep scammers from hitting your senior loved one’s bank account with recurring monthly charges.