Criminals are continuously thinking up new ways to trick our seniors and take their hard earned money.
Technology has opened up new avenues to take advantage of seniors — but also to protect them.
At the same time, many criminals are still striking at seniors in their homes the old-fashioned, low-tech way.
Crime may be knocking on the door, calling on the phone, or even lurking in seniors’ mail boxes.
Reports that criminals are stealing personal data from paper trails in the mailbox or garbage and opening new accounts in other people’s names should put us on alert to avoid letting our personal information, especially social security or account numbers, fall into the hands of unscrupulous people.
Keep Seniors Safe From Scams Showing Up At Their Home
It’s not just unknown scam artists and criminals trying to separate seniors from their money, but often people they know and love.
Sometimes the criminal is someone close to them including family members and paid caregivers.
It is important to help them protect their assets from all people who want to do them harm.
You can be observant for signs that something untoward is happening to their money as well as remind them about things they can do to protect themselves.
Seniors are often overly trusting so need your help to spot the bad guys who are looking for a quick payday from their nest egg!
Actions that Protect
Tips to help seniors stay safe from scams and criminals:
- Do not put any outgoing mail in your mailbox with the red flag up, especially anything containing cash, checks or personal data! Take any important mail directly to a post office or dedicated mail box with a delivery time the same day.
- Make all bank statements and important financial information paperless so they don’t receive any private data in their mailbox. Encourage them to shred any mail with personal information so that no one takes it from their garbage and uses it to steal their identity, tax refunds, or bank accounts.
- Don’t answer the door to a stranger. If your senior doesn’t have a peep hole, install one. It can be a do-it-yourself project that pays dividends.
- Remind your senior not to give out any personal information, such as social security number, passwords, or credit card numbers, over the phone to anyone. The bank will not call them and ask for that information!
- Talk with your seniors about callers who are playing on their family love to extort money from them. Make them aware that a person calling from the police station or out of the country telling them to wire money to a grandchild in trouble is not really related to them.
- Encourage them not to give their money to “charities” that are unknown to them. You may also want to discuss limits to charities that are known to them as well in order to budget their kindness to include their own needs.
Seniors are often targets of unscrupulous people. In order to protect them from scams, keep the conversation going about the dangers that could pay them a visit, both low tech and high tech.
Here are a few more articles with information and tips to protect your seniors and even yourself from scams: