It might seem counter-intuitive: you invite a stranger into your home to keep you secure and safe from other strangers. The first time a professional caregiver comes to the home, they are a stranger to the person who needs in-home care and their family. Yet over time there is potential to become a trusted helper, who has already passed background checks, and can potentially intercept thieves and scammers who try to contact a vulnerable senior by phone, traditional mail, email or at their front door.
Scams tend to increase around the holidays when people might be in a generous mood and are generally busy and distracted.
Who Is at Risk?
Some people are more susceptible to scams than others. Does this sound like someone you know?
Chances are that you cannot change any of these characteristics, so the best solution is to be aware of the most common scams and educate your loved ones and any caregivers they rely on as to how to react if they are targeted.
Beware These Commons Scams
Remarkably, many scams are just tried over and over again with new twists. These are some of the most common scams, according to many expert sources:
How to Help Fight Scams
A caregiver in the home can be one line of defense against scammers as they may have received training about the latest information on scams or question someone who calls or comes to the front door. This will help the person receiving care seem less alone, less vulnerable and possibly make them less of a target to thieves.
The AARP Foundation ElderWatch program has a hotline at 1-800-222-4444, ext. 2, to report fraud.
If you suspect a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or online.
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