Individuals advancing in age tend to be more trusting in general of people they may not know. However, that comes at a risk and makes them highly susceptible to scams. This is even more apparent in situations where they are living alone. Complicating this issue is that many of them may be experiencing cognitive difficulties, such as Alzheimer’s disease, or simply having the need to have someone take care of their daily needs and make decisions. Here at Country Club At Woodlands Hills, we highlight the common scams around and how to avoid them to protect your loved ones.
These are some common scams:
- Scams involving natural disasters It’s natural for the thought of natural disasters to strike fear in the hearts of the vulnerable. As a prominent scam, this has been utilized to exploit anxious people advancing in years. Some of the methods include contacting the victim via email, phone or even meeting them directly. They may also pretend to be personnel from a charitable organization. Some of them also procure personal details by passing off as “IRS” personnel looking to file loss claims. The best way for your loved ones to avoid natural disaster scams is to check with the charity you’re supporting and do thorough research to know if you are a disaster victim yourself.
- Fake calls from Social Security Administration (SSA) A rise in fraudulent calls from SSA is happening where the scammer threatens the victim over the phone. This sophisticated scam involves scammers threatening legal action if the victim does not follow the prescribed instructions. Some scammers will also pretend to help victims activate their social security number if it’s been suspended. The best way to avoid this scam is to remember that direct phone calls are uncommon with the SSA, neither will legal action be threatened over the phone. Should the scammer initiate such fraudulent calls from the SSA, it’s best for your loved ones to hang up the phone immediately.
- Children/Grandchildren in trouble scam The modus operandi of these scammers involves calling a parent or grandparent that their children or grandchildren are seriously injured in an accident or are in jail and need a large sum of money to meet the hospital bills or to serve as a jail bond. The best way for your loved ones to avoid this scam is to hang up and verify with your family members to assess their safety. The next step for them is to escalate this to the Federal Trade Commission.
Tips to Avoid Scams
We offer tips for your loved ones to avoid scams:
- Never hand over your credit card details, social security number, PIN, bank account number over the phone unless it’s initiated on your side. Do not hand over this information over email too. If these documents are in paper form, remember to shred them and not just throw them away in the dustbin.
- Watch out for people pressuring you with urgent sales pitches. Urgent sales pitches are used to move you to do something quickly without giving you the time to think.
- Not all charitable organizations are authorized or legitimate. Remember to do your own due diligence before donating.
At Country Club At Woodland Hills, we provide a safe environment and great amenities for your loved ones. Contact us to find out more!