Most people are aware that there are people in the world who have no issues with taking advantage of and specifically targeting senior citizens using fraudulent tactics or schemes. When a senior is home alone for periods of time, they may be especially vulnerable.
Why are seniors targeted so much more frequently?
According to research, those over the age of 65 are more likely to have taken a financial loss due to a scam than those that are in their 40’s, but why?
Seniors are more likely to have excellent credit, to have a savings build up, and to own their home, which are all reasons that make them more susceptible to becoming the victims of fraud.
They also are less likely to report fraudulent activity, whether it’s due to shame or embarrassment, confusion about what happened or where and how to report it, memory loss, or the fact that they are just unaware that they have even been the victim of fraud in the first place.
Here are some practical tips for protecting your senior parent or loved one from becoming another unfortunate victim of fraud.
Invest in a shredder.
It is important to protect your senior’s personal information and one way to do so is by purchasing a shredder. You can find small, inexpensive, and portable machines and we recommend keeping it in an area where it will be more likely to be used, such as wherever your senior opens their mail or near the trash receptacle. Show your senior how to use it and err on the side of caution, shredding anything that isn’t of importance but has their name, address, or any other sensitive personal information.
If your senior spends time at home alone, and especially if they are experiencing any cognitive impairments such as dementia, hiring a home care company to provide the assistance of caregivers is a way to be sure that your senior is safe at home from people that want to take advantage of them. A home care aide can make sure that any unsolicited visitors don’t gain access or information from your senior and they can also monitor any phone calls that are made or received by them.
Take over finances.
Another way to be on the front lines against elder fraud is to be active with their finances. Taking control of any checkbooks or credit cards, and having your name added to their bank accounts might be one way to help prevent money from being used in ways it shouldn't. It’s a good idea to regularly monitor your senior’s bank accounts so that you can have an idea of incoming and outgoing funds and can catch any fraudulent activity right away.
Talk about it.
Don’t forget to talk to your senior about identity fraud and tactics that are used against the elderly to gain access to their information and funds. Explain why they need to be careful and tell them that you are looking out for their best interests as they get help with their home care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.