Unfortunately, con artists often prey on seniors, targeting older people who live alone as well as those in senior living centers and retirement communities. Many of these scams take place over the phone, where it’s easier for the perpetrator to pass themselves off as an authority figure or a person in need. Here’s how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from phone scams.
Common Tactics Scammers Use to Swindle Seniors
Many con artists prey on seniors’ fears and insecurities. They often present themselves as representatives of legitimate entities such as the IRS, the bank, or the insurance company, in an attempt to scare the senior into revealing personal information such as their account number or Social Security number.
Scammers also try to take advantage of the fact that many seniors are isolated and longing for a sense of purpose. They may pretend to be raising money for a charity, or even pose as a family member in distress, to trick the senior into sending a check or wiring money. Swindlers often assume that people residing in retirement homes and senior living facilities know nothing about technology, so they may try to confuse the target by using technical jargon.
Take Precautions Against Phone Scams
When your phone rings, always check the caller ID, and if you see an unknown number, let your voice mail or answering machine take the call. Never give out personal information over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from your credit card company or some other familiar business or agency. These types of companies rarely — if ever — ask you to provide sensitive information over the phone, so if you receive a call like this, contact an administrator at the company the caller claims to be from, and ask if it’s legitimate.
If you think you’ve fallen victim to a phone scam, discuss it with someone you trust, such as a family member or an administrator at your senior living community. The caring staff at Village De Memoire in Ville Platte provides cost-friendly housing to seniors throughout Central Louisiana, and they’re committed to treating every resident like family. They encourage independent living and provide rehabilitation and elder care services to help residents stay healthy and happy. Call (337) 363-5992 to arrange a tour at the senior living facility, or visit their website to fill out an application today.