Friday, March 6, 2015

Protecting Elderly Parents from Scams

Unfortunately some people see elderly adults as the prime targets for scams. They take advantage of the fact that they have saved up for retirement, may live alone, and may have memory problems or be very trusting. This can put them at risk for being the victim of financial scams or identity theft. Families can help to keep their loved ones safe by educating and protecting them when it comes to these situations.

Start talking early on about the risks that exist before it becomes a problem. Stay alert to local and national news to find out what new scams may be occurring in the Asheville area that you should be aware of. Discuss any strange phone calls or requests that they may get and provide some responses for how they can say no and avoid giving out personal information. You could post a list near the phone of tactics people may try to use that could indicate a scam. Oftentimes callers will try to get credit card information, social security numbers, bank account numbers, or other personal information. Some ways to protect this information include:

  • Monitoring their finances: If possible, keep an eye on your elderly parent’s finances and set up alerts from the bank. Pay attention to any strange charges or withdrawals. Also periodically check their credit report to see if any new accounts have been opened that may be the result of a scam.
  • Signing up for the Do Not Call list: Register their phone number on the Do Not Call registry. Also opt out of mailing lists when possible to reduce the amount of junk mail they receive. Using a cell phone as opposed to a landline can also help because these numbers are less frequently targeted by scammers. Having an unlisted or private number can help as well.
  • Shred sensitive documents: Invest in a shredder and have your senior gather any documents with personal information to be shred instead of thrown away. You can also review these documents with them to see if anything seems out of the ordinary.
  • Check in frequently: Stay in touch regularly to keep up-to-date with what is going on in your senior’s life. Remind them of how to stay safe on the phone and by not answering the door to strangers. When offers seem too good to be true, they usually are.

If your parent lives alone in the Hendersonville area, find activities to help them keep busy and involved in the community. Seniors who are isolated and alone can be easier targets for scams. Hiring a caregiver through a senior care organization such as Always Best Care can provide valuable in-home care that not only gives your senior companionship but also enhances their safety. The caregiver can help them to stay alert to possible scams and assist with mail and phone calls. Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville has your elderly parent’s independence, safety, and wellbeing in mind. To find out how we can help. Call (828) 989-7263 or visit

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