My mother called me one day, saying she had just received numerous emails and texts urging her to purchase medical supplies. Even though she had not responded to the messages, she continued to be annoyed by these scams and had no idea how to stop them.
Have your parents ever experienced this situation before?
Read on to learn more about common online and telemarketing scams – plus how to protect your elderly parents from them.
How to Protect Your Elderly Family Members From Common Telemarketing Scams
Common Online and Telemarketing Scams Your Seniors Should Be Aware Of
Medicare and Insurance Scams
Fraud on medical or health insurance is a frequent method used by thieves to target senior victims. Most of these scams happen over the phone, while others occur via email. Scammers typically make claims of “free” medical equipment before charging for it or charging insurance or Medicare for services that were never performed.
Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
Counterfeit prescription medications are another prevalent fraud that frequently targets our parents.
Seniors should carefully check prescription pill packaging to ensure the medications haven’t been changed between renewals. They should also be aware that product promotions, specials, and other so-called bargains may be tied to fake goods and should resist these temptations.
Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products
As with counterfeit prescription drugs, anti-aging products are a prevalent fraud targeting seniors. Many seniors are negatively impacted by financial fraud through telemarketing because they are potential customers that easily fall into the trap.
Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams
Sweepstakes and lottery scams have been around for a while and are still prevalent today.
The first point of contact is frequently a phone call, email, social media post, or a piece of direct mail congratulating our seniors on winning a significant prize. Next, they will be asked to pay a fee, taxes, or customs duties before receiving the prize. Moreover, scam artists might demand access to their bank accounts or recommend buying gift cards.
How to Help Your Parents Fight Against Telemarketing Scams
Awareness and education are our first line of protection against telemarketing scams targeting senior citizens.
Take a moment to have a serious discussion with your loved ones about the common frauds and to give them a warning of the consequences. Most importantly, highlight the helpful guideline of safe telemarketing – disregard appeals from unknown numbers and individuals, including salespeople, charities, and businesses.
Do Not Belittle Your Parents
The hard truth is that scammers frequently target seniors as they see them as easy prey. Anyone can fall victim to online or telemarketing scams, but our parents are more vulnerable. Therefore, try to refrain from talking down to your loved one when discussing this issue. Instead, be open and truthful when providing your parents with knowledge rather than trying to scare and look down on them.
Help Your Parents With Technology
Thanks to advanced technology, criminals have more opportunities to commit fraud and scams.
Fraudsters are experts at making telemarketing scams that seem like legitimate communications or links. To avoid this, you can teach your parents how to set privacy restrictions that make it more difficult for scammers to contact them. You could also encourage them to text you or forward strange-looking messages if they want to check with you first.
Remind Your Parents to Tell Scammers Nothing
Scammers hunt for information, including bank accounts, social security numbers, banking PINs, phone numbers, etc. Even if they attempt to verify personal identity, the best course of action is to withhold all of the information. If they inquire about the presence of any family members or seek to confirm your residence, ask your parents to hang up without saying anything. Any bit of information seniors give to scammers can be a tool used to part them from their money or otherwise harm them.
If you have questions about telemarketing scams or anything discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while still leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to book a scheduled personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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