Four Tips for Avoiding Scams with a Senior

Scams targeting senior citizens are more and more creative every day. The good news is that you don’t have to be an FBI agent to help your elderly family member avoid getting scammed. The FBI also has a special page of tips to educate people about telemarketing scams, which are another huge problem. As your senior’s caregiver, you can do a lot more than you think.

Talk to Your Senior about the Things Scammers Say

Elderly Care Des Plaines, IL: Scams with a Senior

The very first step, of course, is to educate yourself on the things that scammers are likely to do and to say. The FBI has extensive resources to help you to do this. Another good source of information is your local police department, because they often hear about what and who is targeting local seniors. Talk to your senior about what types of things scammers are likely to tell her and have her roleplay her responses with you.

Encourage Her to Ask for Details in Writing Only
Sometimes older adults don’t like telling people no outright. Your senior also might not feel physically safe in a particular situation. Encourage her to ask for more information, but in writing. Often this will allow her a graceful way out of the immediate situation, especially if it’s in person. Sometimes this request will be frustrating for a scammer and that person will give up on your senior as a target, particularly if they don’t have anything in writing that they can give her.

Talk to Your Senior about What Projects and Ideas She’s Involved In
Something else that can really help is for you to be as informed as possible about what your senior is involved in. When you’re aware of who she’s talking to and what she’s doing, that gives you a better understanding of whether she’s possibly involved in something she shouldn’t be. This doesn’t mean that you have to question her relentlessly, either. Simply have conversations with her and show interest in what interests her.

Talk to Other Family Members, Too
Make sure you talk to other family members, too. Let them know what to watch out for and what types of scams might be an issue for your senior. They can help you to spot signs of trouble so that you can be proactive about whatever might impact your elderly family member. Your senior might feel more comfortable talking about these situations with some family members over others.

If your senior still seems particularly vulnerable to scammers, it might help to have more help around, especially when you can’t be there with her. Elderly care providers can help your senior to screen her interactions and they can be right there with her when she’s approached by someone who might not be so honest.

Excerpt: Scammers who prey on the elderly hope to find them uninformed and naïve. You can help your senior be the opposite of their perfect target.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care in Des Plaines, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove,Evanston, Des Plaines,Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.

Jamie Shapiro

Jamie Shapiro, founder of Companion Services of America, LLC received a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. Jamie started her career in psychiatric social work at Northwestern University Institute of Psychiatry. Later, she went on to become the Director of Social Services at Belmont Community Hospital where she developed discharge planning procedures to assist staff in identifying potential patients requiring intervention.