In 2016, the U.S. Senate Aging Committee received more than 2,000 calls from seniors or elder care providers to report another scam. There are clear patterns involving the types of scams being used to swindle seniors out of their money or vital information. Don’t let your parent fall for a scam. Make sure you discuss these common scams and take steps to make sure your mom or dad does not fall for a phone scam.
Federal Grant Office Scam
A number of callers reported a phone scam in which a supposed government agency called to state the senior qualified for a substantial cash grant. In order to receive the money, the senior had to pay processing fees and taxes totaling thousands. The elderly person is then giving information on paying the fees and taxes by wiring the caller the money.
Another popular phone scam against the elderly is the grandchild scam call. The caller tells the elderly person that he or she’s been arrested or had a medical emergency while away from home and needs money urgently. One man tried to wire $30,000 to help his grandson, only a shrewd bank employee recognized the scam and refused to allow the transaction to go through.
Computer Virus Scam
With the computer virus scam, the caller tells the senior that Microsoft has detected a virus on the senior’s computer and needs money wired to Microsoft in India in order to remove the virus. This scam continues as many seniors who fall for the scam later get calls asking for a credit card in order to refund the money. Cash is then stolen from the credit card too.
Sweepstakes Winner Scam
The FTC reported an increase of more than 40 percent with common sweepstakes scams. Seniors receive calls saying they’ve won a lottery or prize and must wire money cover processing fees. Elder care providers should watch for the country code 876 as it’s one of the more popular exchanges used in these scams.
With the IRS scam, someone posing as an IRS agent calls the senior homeowner and states they owe the IRS money. According to the U.S. Government, up to 40,000 complaints come in each week to report this scam. It’s important for the elder care provider to make sure the senior citizen knows that the IRS would never call to demand money.
Providers and family members covering elder care needs should look into blocking unlisted or unknown callers. This helps cut down on the number of calls reaching the senior homeowner.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home elder care in Huntington NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions. Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.