Watching Out For Senior Scammers

By April 6, 2015Caregiver Tips

Technology is a wonderful thing. It has allowed families to video chat with each other from one coast to another, we can now pay our bills online with one click of a button, and we’re more connected than ever. Unfortunately, with this newer technology comes newer scams on seniors. Recently there have been various schemes that you and your elderly loved one should watch out for. They are as follows:

Internet Fraud
It’s unfortunate that with all the great things the internet provides us with, we still need to be very careful when online. There are numerous ways to scam anyone of any age. Nevertheless, here are some potential internet schemes that your elderly loved one needs to be aware of.

  • Emails Scams – When receiving emails from people you don’t know, it’s best to just delete them. However, sometimes you or a loved one may receive an email from a company that looks legitimate, asking you to “update” personal information. If you or a loved one are not fully sure whether this company is one you’ve worked with in the past, do no respond. It’s possible that it’s a phishing scam trying to collect personal information to steal your identity. Be careful. If the company is only vaguely familiar, or you know your elderly loved one has never done business with this specific company, delete the email.
  • Fake Anti-Virus Programs – There are websites out there that can mimic virus scanning websites. Unfortunately, these websites aren’t out there to help you or your older loved one. These websites were created to steal personal information. These simulated programs act like they’re removing terrible viruses from your computer, but instead they’re uploading programs in order to collect passwords, usernames, card numbers, etc. in order to rob older individuals. Make sure you explain to your elderly loved one, if they ever come across and website that wants them to install anti-virus software, close it out. Most computers come with virus protection, so there’s no reasons to download anything from a suspicious website.

Counterfeit Prescriptions
More common than ever, this scam occurs on the internet as well. More and more seniors are now heading online to find better deals on their prescription drugs. Unfortunately, people have created fake websites offering fake drugs. This can be twice as dangerous, because A) your senior loved one is paying money for a useless substance or B) they’re paying money for a substance that could, in turn, harm them rather than help them. Your best defense against this type of scam is to sit down with your elderly loved one, pick out a few trusted websites, bookmark them, and tell them that here are their options when it comes to ordering online prescriptions.

Telemarketing
This is considered the most common of scams against senior citizens. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to prevent and very hard to trace. Some of the common schemes amongst telemarketing fraud are posing as a charity and asking for money after a natural disaster, posing as a grandchild asking for a good bit of money, or posing as a victim of some accident asking for money. It’s tough to prevent, as these types of people prey off the goodness found in others. What you can do is sit them down and warn them of the potential threat when people call them over the phone. Never give out any personal information whether it’s over the phone or online. Make this known to your senior loved one. It’s important to keep all personal information to yourself.

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