Every year, millions of dollars are stolen from elderly victims.
Estimates in 2011 put the number of fraud at close to $3 billion.
Phone scams are one of the many ways scammers take money from older men and women. Because some seniors who are aging at home also happen to be lonely, they’re more likely to answer a phone.
As soon as scammers have an aging adult on the phone, they’ll turn on the charm and do whatever they can to get the person to give out information like a credit card number, Social Security Number, or bank account information.
Four common phone scams are:
-Arrest Scam – The caller informs your dad that he was supposed to report for jury duty or pay a fine for a driving offense. He may not have paid the full amount of taxes due to the IRS. As he didn’t do what he was supposed to, he’s now got an arrest warrant. To avoid being arrested, he must pay the fine immediately.
-Grandparent Scam – A grandchild has been arrested or was in a car crash and needs money immediately to pay bail or medical bills.
-Lottery Scam – The caller tells your dad he’s won a sweepstake. He can have the money once he prepays the taxes or processing fee.
-Utility Scam – Your dad failed to pay his electricity/water/phone bill. His service is going to be shut off if he doesn’t pay up right now.
How Do You Prevent Them?
Make sure your dad knows he is never to share his financial account numbers or SSN over the phone. If he was really going to be arrested, police would show up at his door and have badges and issue a warrant he could look at.
The IRS and utility companies do not call people to say money is due. They would always mail an official letter. Reinforce this with your dad. Teach him to not answer the phone unless it is someone he knows. Even then, he has to be cautious as scammers may spoof a local number to make it appear like they’re someone they’re not.
Hire Home Care Aides to Keep Your Dad From Answering Calls
If you believe your dad is lonely enough to spend time talking to scammers, hire help. With caregivers offering companionship, your dad isn’t going to have time for phone calls. Talk to a home care agency to schedule companionship services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Bethel Park, PA, talk to the caring staff at Superior Home Care today. Call us at 412.754.2600