The FTC received more than 1.4 million fraud reports in 2018. Imposter scams, debt collection scams, and identity theft were the three most common. An estimated $1.48 billion was lost to fraud.
Scams were reported most often by younger adults.
Only 15 percent of the reports came from seniors over the age of 69. This may seem positive, but the fact is the highest monetary loss from a scam occurred in older adults. Senior citizens lost an average of $751 from scams.
–Is your mom engaging in behaviors that put her at a higher risk of being scammed? These are the behaviors to watch for. If you see her doing any of these things, it’s time to help her know how to avoid being scammed.
Does She Always Answer the Phone?
Answering the phone was a common practice decades ago. There was no voicemail to catch calls for you. Some seniors still feel that answering the phone is a common act of courtesy.
That’s all it takes for a scammer to start conning your mom. If you can get her to understand that it’s okay not to answer, it’s best. Caller ID will help her see who’s calling, but it’s not always a guarantee. Scammers use a technique known as spoofing to provide fake information to caller ID systems.
It’s becoming common practice for a scammer to make it look like they’re calling from the local police, a local business, or the local hospital. They know people are more likely to answer the phone if the caller ID displays those important numbers.
Teach your mom that if the call is legitimate, the caller will leave a message. She should verify the number that’s left against the number listed on the company’s or organization’s website to make sure it is the same. If it’s not, she should report the call.
Does She Answer the Doorbell?
Another way scammers con people is through door-to-door sales. If your mom is likely to answer the door, she could easily get conned. Older adults have been falling for home improvement scams.
With a home improvement scam, the person at the door claims to be a contractor who is working down the street. While driving by, they noticed a serious issue with your mom’s house. They offer a discounted rate to repair it.
The goal with this scam is to get the homeowner to pay a significant deposit. The scammer then never returns or starts the job, finds new issues, and claims it will take even more money. Your mom needs to always say no and call a licensed contractor for a second opinion.
If your mom tends to answer calls just to have someone to talk to, companionship services from an elderly care agency solves that issue. Caregivers spend time with your mom providing friendship and socialization. Call an elderly care agency to talk about companionship services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Northbrook, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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