Elder Scam Artists – How to Beat Them at Their Own Game – Part 2

According to the FBI, senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable groups of people targeted by scam artists. Over the past year, there have been thousands of cases of fraud against elderly adults. Some of these schemes include healthcare fraud, counterfeit prescription drugs, funeral and cemetery fraud, fraudulent anti-aging products, telemarketing fraud, Internet fraud, investment schemes, and reverse mortgage scams.

There are hundreds of other ways con artists target seniors. As loved ones age, they are more likely to be taken in by expert scam artists or other frauds. It is the responsibility of loved ones to help keep senior family members safe.

In Part One on elder scam artists, some of the most common scams perpetrated against seniors were discussed so that you can recognize how to keep loved ones safe. While this is an important strategy, it is even easier to avoid being scammed if the scam artists cannot reach you or your loved ones at all.

Avoiding Scams and Solicitations

In order to cut down on the number of solicitations for scams geared towards senior citizens, the best defense is to do everything possible to stop the ways that scam artists can reach your loved ones. The following are some important steps you should take today to protect elderly loved ones.

  • Add all phone numbers to the Do Not Call registry. Go to donotcall.gov or call their hotline to add your number and any number at which you can reach senior citizens to the registry. This will protect you from being called by many people soliciting seniors and make the phone number more difficult for scam artists to access.
  • Screen calls using caller ID. If seniors do not answer phone calls from any unfamiliar numbers, they will not be subject to any phishing calls for frauds.
  • Opt out of pre-approved credit offers. Although some credit offers are from respected, legitimate financial institutions, some are from scam artists. Opting out of these offers will avoid some junk and mail scams. If a loved one decides that he or she wants another loan or credit card, you can go together directly to a bank.
  • Limit direct mailings and marketing campaigns. Visiting the direct marketing association website and opting out of their mailing lists will substantially limit what mail elders receive. You can also remind them to opt out of any mailing lists when they fill out forms. The less seniors are bombarded with junk mail, the better equipped they will be to filter the legitimate offers out from the scams.
  • Keep lines of communication open. If you and your family make major decisions together and keep lines of communication open, you will be able to protect each other from many types of scams. The goal should not be to make all decisions for seniors who are still capable of doing so on their own. The goal should be to work together to make sure that no one is hurt by a scam. Talking about decisions as they come up will help.

While it may not be possible to totally avoid all scam artists from contacting seniors, it is much easier to avoid scams by following these tips. Work with elderly relatives to keep them away from scams, always staying vigilant of the possibility of fraud.

Contact Us

Contact us at the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. today to find out how we can help with your elder care. We can set up living trusts, protect assets, work out Medicare planning, or set up guardianships. Trust us to do everything in our power to serve the legal needs of your family.

Like us on facebook