Every year, people of all ages fall for internet, phone, and door-to-door scams. Seniors are not immune. If you worry about your mom or dad falling for a scam, make sure they have all the information that’s needed to help them avoid being scammed out of money and personal information. Here are some of the most common scams in 2018.
Fire or Police Department Fundraisers
One scam that often makes the rounds are fundraiser scams. Seniors may get calls from what sounds like their local fire or police department. Spoofing can make it seem like the call is legit because the number on caller ID is the local department’s number.
Once on the line, the scammer claims to be a representative raising money for the department’s annual fundraiser. The money never goes to the police or fire department. Plus, the scammer now has a credit card number. Check for legitimate fundraisers by looking for information on your local fire or police department’s web page or social media account.
Health Insurance Scams
Scammers use the health insurance sign-up deadlines to run scams. They offer to help sign up for Medicare or some other health insurance. To assist you, they need your SSN, date of birth, and other vital information that can help scammers take out loans in your name. Some will charge you a sign-up fee and ask for your credit card information, too.
Callers claim to be from the IRS and say the person who answers is about to be arrested for failure to pay taxes. To prevent this from happening, they must pay the amount owed. Usually, the scammer says the money must be sent via Western Union or gift cards.
The IRS never contacts people over the phone. Hang up and report as much information as you can give. Any call from the IRS saying taxes are owed is a scam.
Utility phone scams are very common. The scammer calls a number and says money is owed. If the caller doesn’t provide banking information immediately, their power, gas, or water will be shut off that afternoon. People don’t want to go without, so they give the information to the scammer not realizing it’s a scam.
When money is owed, utilities will not call first. They will mail notices that list the amount due and when the disconnection date is. You can also call and get an extension if there’s a valid reason for being unable to pay.
Talk to your parents regularly about scams and what they need to do to avoid them. Caregivers can be part of the solution. Caregivers can keep your parents engaged in meaningful activities and off their phone. Call a home care agency to get started.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Winston-Salem, NC, please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care. Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today 919-676-1070
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