Just about every Californian has received at least a few annoying spam phone calls trying to elicit money or personal information, and most give them little thought. Growing up with telephone scams makes it easy to recognize one when it comes up. Unfortunately, older Americans often have more trouble separating legitimate phone calls, emails, websites, and in-person interactions from even obvious scams, which makes them more vulnerable.
Elderly adults fall victim to scammers more frequently than any other age group, and the problem isn’t just that older people didn’t grow up with the Internet or deal with phone scams every day as kids. It’s that older people also tend to be more trusting, more appealing as targets thanks to their accumulated assets, and less likely to file a report should they be victimized.
There are few things more devastating than losing one’s life savings in old age when it’s impossible to earn the money back. This is why it is so important for younger family members and friends to protect their aging loved ones from potential scams. Read on to find out how to get started.
Many seniors find themselves feeling isolated and alone, which opens them up to all kinds of exploitation. Moving to an assisted living community can help elderly Californians become more social, but it won’t replace the joy that comes with a simple phone call from a child or grandchild. Staying involved in aging parents’ and grandparents’ lives also gives younger relatives the chance to identify potential scams when their elderly loved ones cannot.
Discuss Common Scams
Online, telephone, and in-person fraud are all distressingly common in the 21st century, yet most seniors don’t believe themselves to be at risk and take few precautions against becoming victimized by scammers. Younger relatives can help by informing seniors about the most common scams, which can include:
- Fake phone calls soliciting bail money or other emergency payments for younger family members.
- Claims of sweepstakes or lottery winnings accompanied by requests for the tax money paid on them.
- False phone calls from courts or other government agencies threatening penalties or arrest.
- Fake emails from subscription websites claiming issues with accounts.
- Stimulus check and social security scams.
It’s also worth noting that even in 2022, some scammers still arrive in person to take advantage of overly trusting seniors, as well. Most of the time, new friends or romantic interests are legitimate, but not always.
Set Up Financial Safeguards
It’s common for elderly Americans suffering from dementia and other serious mental or physical health problems to request help from younger relatives with managing finances. These relatives can offer extra help by requesting regular copies of credit reports, setting up safeguards at banks, and getting seniors with cognitive issues separate debit cards with smaller balances. It’s also worth noting that trouble managing finances is one of the signs it’s time to start looking into assisted living with memory care for aging loved ones.
Even with all the help in the world from younger relatives, millions of seniors will still fall victim to scammers each year. Many refuse to report the incidents due to embarrassment or fears that family members will lose confidence in a senior’s ability to independently manage finances or live alone successfully.
It may be tempting to respond to a senior confiding that he or she has become a victim of fraud with frustration, but try to be understanding. No one wants to be victimized, and many scammers specifically target seniors knowing that they are more trusting and often have more to lose. Instead of getting mad, exercise compassion and simply help the person file a police report, then make suggestions for safer ways to move forward.
Know When to Ask for Help
If an aging family member has been having increasing difficulty with not just avoiding scammers but also managing other aspects of his or her daily life, it may be time to enlist the help of other relatives. Seniors who move to assisted living homes near Anaheim, CA will have access to all the resources required to protect themselves, but that’s not the only benefit of moving to assisted living. These communities also give aging Americans the chance to socialize with peers, engage in fun activities, and get rid of the hassles associated with homeownership to maximize retirees’ enjoyment of their golden years.
Schedule a Tour of Arbor Palms Today
Have a parent, grandparent, or another older family member who is interested in moving to a senior living community? The next step is simple. Schedule a tour at Arbor Palms of Anaheim. We’re known as one of the leading assisted living communities in Anaheim, CA, and can be reached online or by phone at (714) 821-9660.