Although anyone can fall victim to scams, many scammers target senior citizens with the belief that they may make easy prey. If your elderly parent lives on his or her own, you might have a little concern that he or she could be targeted. If you've arranged a home health aide to spend time with your parent to help with tasks such as cooking, bathing, and taking medication, you can turn to this healthcare professional to serve as a valuable line of defense against scammers. Talk to the caregiver to share some rules that you believe will keep your parent from being victimized, and then ask that the caregiver enforces these rules.
No Answering The Door Alone
Scammers who appear at the door can be a big threat. By misrepresenting themselves to your parent, they may be able to get your parent to sign up for a contract in a matter of minutes, which can lead to financial troubles. A simple rule to have your caregiver enforce is that your elderly parent isn't to answer the door alone. Instead, your parent should go to the door with the caregiver, who may be quicker to identify a possible scam and close the door on the scammer.
No Giving Out Information Over The Phone
People who target seniors will also often call the senior and pretend to be someone from a bank, credit institute, or other organization in an attempt to get access to personal information. Without hesitation, your parent may divulge his or her banking information to the person on the phone, believing that he or she is legitimate. Again, this can lead to many issues, including the loss of money and even the potential for identity theft. Have your parent's caregiver monitor phone conversations — perhaps even answering the phone when the caller is unknown — and make sure that your parent doesn't give out any information.
No Responding To Unsolicited Emails
Similarly, scammers send email to many recipients, hoping that someone makes the error of responding. If your elderly parent uses email, make sure that the caregiver enforces the rule of not responding to unsolicited messages. If there's any confusion about an incoming message, your parent should know to consult with caregivers — he or she will likely have a better idea of whether the email is legitimate or not. Having these rules isn't to make your parent feel like a prisoner, so make sure that he or she knows these rules are simply in place for his or her own protection from scammers.