Scam Alert: 7 Tips to Protect Seniors from Falling Victim

Seniors remain a vulnerable population, which often results in them being a target for scams. They remain a target for telemarketing scams, door to door salesman scams and even Medicare scams. There are so many scams in today’s world that it can be impossible to learn about all of them, but these tips will help protect seniors from falling victim.

Avoid Door to Door Salespeople

Door to door salesmen often have good intentions. This is how many companies get the word out about their product. However, there are also door to door salesmen that do not have good intentions. Scammers have been known to pose as a person from a utility company to get inside someone’s house so that they can hurt them or rob them. Some scammers attempt to get a person’s credit card information so that they have it for their records and can steal their money later. The only safe transaction with a door to door salesman is one that involves cash and does not involve revealing any personal information.

Never Give Out Medical Information to Strangers

Medicare scams are on the rise, and seniors are usually the target. These scams involve a person attempting to get medical identification information, such as a Medicare ID number. Then, they use that information to bill Medicare for services or equipment. This could be to pay for their own services, or it could be a fake doctor that is their accomplice. Often, medical equipment that is purchased is sold for profit. To avoid this scam, avoid giving out medical information to anyone unless it is a provider.

Take Precautions to Prevent Telemarketing Scams

Telemarketers are known for being scammers. Granted, some of them are not, but there are enough telemarketing scams that it is essential for seniors to take special steps to protect themselves against these types of scams when using their Fanmi phone. First, avoid doing business with companies that do not sound familiar. These could be made up companies because they are a scam. Second, do not give anyone identification information, credit card numbers, etc. over the phone. Third, a nice way to avoid all these scams is to not answer the phone if the number is not familiar. When seniors do not answer their Fanmi phone, it is not possible for them to fall victim to a telemarketing scam.

Shop Around to Prevent Financial Abuse

Seniors are often targeted from financial abuse from contractors. These people attempt to scam seniors by overcharging them for services. They often ask the last time a person worked with a contractor, and then inform them that prices have gone up over the years. This scam sounds legit, but it is one more way that the elderly is being targeted.

There are certain steps that seniors can take to avoid this type of financial abuse. Seniors are advised to shop around. Pick up a Fanmi phone to call multiple contractors for estimates before signing a contract or making a payment. Another great way to avoid this scam is to not make brash decisions. If a contractor seems like the real deal, tell yourself to take a few days before deciding. Taking extra time to decide can give seniors the time they need to determine whether it is financial abuse.

Fake Medications

With the rising cost of health care, it is no wonder why many seniors are taking to the internet to find discount prescription medication. This may seem like a great way to save money, but many of the “prescriptions” sold online are not real prescription medication. The pills that seniors receive often are not evaluated by the FDA, and seniors do not realize this until they take the medication and find that it does not work.

Instead of purchasing discount medication online, seniors are encouraged to ask their doctor about cheaper medications that they can take. Pharmacists can also be very helpful. This will help the elderly save money while they still get the medication that they desperately need. Ordering medication from the internet can be risky.

Email Scams

Seniors are not as skilled at using the internet as younger generations, which makes them a prime target for email scams. These scams typically involve an email that is sent out. When the email is opened, it downloads a virus into the computer. Another common email scam is to ask the receiver of the email to download something. Then, they download the virus or spyware onto their computer. After this stage is complete, the person that sent the virus has access to all the private information on the computer, such as credit card numbers and bank account information.

To prevent this type of scam, seniors should be educated about email scams. It is important not to open emails from unknown senders, and a person should never download something from an unknown sender. Seniors that have questions should contact a close family member to ask them questions. Having a close person to help guide them away from email scams can help seniors avoid them.

Western Union Scams

Convincing a senior to send someone money via Western Union is an extremely popular scam. Scammers use several tactics to get their hands on the money. This could include pretending to be a grandchild or close family member and asking for money. It could also include pretending to be from a charity. Often, these scams play on a person’s emotions because this makes them more likely to go to the store and send the money.

Seniors are more likely to have a great credit score, an amazing savings account and to own their own home. This combined with them not being internet savvy has made them a target for a variety of scams. Instead of falling victim to these scams and losing money, seniors can follow these tips from Fanmi to make sure that their money stays exactly where it should: in their hands. In addition to following these tips, seniors are encouraged to educate themselves about common scams so that they know what they need to avoid in order to protect themselves.

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