Phone-based scams are some of the most common forms of fraud, especially when it comes to victimizing elderly adults. Seniors tend to be at the highest risk for being victims of fraud, and they may be particularly vulnerable to these types of scams. This is true because elderly adults are more likely to be trusting and feel it is disrespectful or rude to question others. They tend to also be more emotional and easily manipulated, such as when fraudulent callers use fake organizations and charities to solicit donations, or by pretending to be a family member or calling on behalf of a family member. Seniors are also more likely to experience cognitive functioning decline, or simply not be able to understand situations such as a fraudulent caller saying they need personal information to fix a computer issue, or to “confirm” their account. As their family caregiver it is important for you to help your parent understand these risks and take steps to protect your parent from the scams.
Use these tips to protect your aging parent from phone-based scams:
- Encourage them to check caller ID to make sure they only answer the phone when they recognize the number. If they are unsure, they should not answer, and should simply wait for a voicemail to see if it was important.
- Help your parent understand it is not rude or unacceptable to end a conversation if it is making them uncomfortable or seems suspicious. If they feel that something is strange about the call, they can simply say they need to go, ask for the name and number of the person, and hang up. They can then review the call with you and determine if there is reason to call back.
- Make sure your parent knows companies such as financial institutions will not ask for personal or financial information without them initiating contact. If they are asked for their social security number, their account number, their PIN, or other such personal information, they should promptly end the call and hang up.
- Reassure them they are under no obligation to be “friendly” or “polite” by listening to a caller, or agreeing to anything. They do not have to do what is being asked of them, or what they are told they “have” to do. If they do not think what the person sounds right, they can just end the call.
- Do not leave a credit card or checkbook in the home of a senior with cognitive functioning decline, or one who has been manipulated out of money before.
You made the decision to be a family caregiver for your aging parent because you love them and want what is best for them. Unfortunately, if you put all of your concentration and effort into fulfilling your parent’s care needs, your relationship with them may suffer. When all you are thinking about is making sure their needs are fulfilled and they are safe and healthy, you might not think about spending quality time with them, or making memories. Bringing in home care can help. An in-home senior care services provider can manage care needs for your elderly parent so you can focus more on enjoying your time with them, and creating memories you can carry with you well into the future.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Elizabeth, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.