Find Out How To Recognize The Typical Signs Of Fraud Against Seniors With Tips from Our Home Care Providers
Frauds against seniors are a serious problem. According to the FTC, nearly 25 million Americans are victims of frauds each year. You can help prevent your loved one from falling victim to various senior scams by familiarizing them with the most common schemes, as well as behaviors that they should avoid. Another way to protect your loved one is for him or her to stay socially active, avoiding isolation by staying in touch with friends, family, and involve your home care provider. This can reduce the risks of fraudulent activity because lonely, isolated seniors are perceived as easier targets than those that are surrounded by family and friends.
Some warning signs that may indicate your loved one is the victim of financial abuse include recent changes made to bank accounts, atypical money withdrawals, unpaid essential bills despite adequate income, checks written by someone else, and changes to powers of attorney, property titles and wills, among others.
Health Care/Medicare/Health insurance fraud is a common type of scam. In order to get personal information from seniors, con artists usually pose as Medicare representatives. Then they use the personal information to bill Medicare for fake treatments and services.
There are also a variety of Internet fraud and investment schemes. Investment schemes such as the pyramid or Ponzi schemes are dangerous as they can leave your loved one in a serious financial situation. These schemes promise unrealistic returns on investments. Internet fraud is often committed by emailing an older person with a false claim from a bank and then asking for personal account information. A home care provider or family member should keep close watch on seniors to ensure they aren't giving up any potential dangerous information online.
Another popular fraud is the lottery scam. Seniors are informed that they have won the lottery, but in order to get the prize, they have to send in money to cover certain expenses before receiving the winnings. You can explain to your loved one that they can't win a contest they didn't enter and that they never have to pay fees to collect real lottery winnings.
Our home care provider recommend that if you suspect that your loved one is the victim of a fraud, encourage them to open up to you. If they have indeed been victimized, call your local authorities at once.