At The Forefront Of Disability And Elder Law

How to help senior parents avoid scams

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2020 | Firm News |

As your parents age, it may fall on you to look out for them. It is especially important that you help them avoid scams designed to take advantage of senior citizens and steal their money. Your parents may be sharp in other aspects, but scammers are very sophisticated and like to play on emotions when they try to get money or other assets from seniors.

Forbes suggests that you take a caring and informative approach when talking to your parents about scams. Help them to understand why someone may do this. It is typical for scammers to target older people because they are more likely to have large amounts of disposable income. In addition, they may be less aware of new scams because they do not use the same technology or stay on top of scams like younger generations.

Telltale signs

Teach your parents about common signs that something is a scam. Make sure they understand that government agencies will never call out of the blue and generally will alert them with something in the mail first. Explain that anyone calling them should already have their information and should not have to ask for basics, like their address and name.

Help them understand that some scams can seem incredibly realistic, such as calls from a relative in trouble. However, anyone asking for payment through gift cards or other odd methods is not legitimate.

Also, warn your parents about calls that look local but have callers with foreign accents. Explain how number spoofing works.

Empower them

If your parents think that it is rude to let the phone ring or hang up on someone, then give them the power to combat a scammer and figure out for themselves if someone is trying to scam them through specific questions. Tell them that they should always ask for a company or organization name, address and phone number. Often, this is enough to scare a scam caller.


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