Earlier this week I shared with you common types of scams that are targeted toward seniors. Today I would like to give you some easy tips on how family members and caregivers can help protect the elderly from becoming a victim of such a scam.
Seniors should always be encouraged to allow loved ones that they trust to be involved in their finances and to ask a trusted person about any requests for personal or financial information prior to giving it out.
Caregivers should also remind and encourage seniors to require written documentation before agreeing to any contract or before giving away information. When government agencies call you can ask that they first send you a certified letter prior to giving them any information.
Discourage seniors from hiring anyone who is going door-to-door for services. Also remind them to never allow someone inside that they are not familiar with or made an appointment previously with. Encourage seniors to always ask for contact information and refuse to make on-the-spot decisions in regards to service.
Seniors can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry at (888) 382-1222 to minimize the amount of telemarking calls they receive.
A final helpful tip is to develop a list of the names, numbers, and email addresses for all utility, insurance, service providers, and other financial-related businesses that the senior needs to be in contact with. Always encourage them to use the numbers on the list to contact these providers to discuss business, financial, or legal needs rather than with people who contact the senior first. If ever they are in doubt encourage them to say “Let me call you back at the main number in a bit.” and then hang up. Have them call the number listed and verify the call prior to proceeding. This will help differentiate between a scam and a legitimate institution.