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Protecting the Elderly Against Financial Scams

Scammers have no limits to the lows that they will stoop to in order to deceive innocent victims. The elderly often fall victim to scams due to their vulnerabilities. They are less likely to report scams out of fear of retaliation or sheer embarrassment. The elderly also tend to be targeted more often because of their “perceived wealth,” according to Experian.com. For example, retirement funds, life savings, or social security benefits are seen as a big payday in the eyes of scammers. We here at Quality of Life Home Care and Hospice want to bring awareness to such scams. We have compiled a list of popular scams perpetrated against the elderly and ways to protect seniors against them.


1. Grandparent Scams

Grandparent scams are exactly as the name suggests. The scamming party claims to be a grandchild of the subject they wish to scam. They typically call requesting financial help regarding an urgent situation. These scammers urge their target not to tell their family about the situation, in an effort to keep their true identity covered.


How to Protect Yourself:

If approached with this scenario, always check with members of the family to verify if the claims are true. Also ask questions that only your grandchild would be able to answer.


2. Romance/Love Scams


While any age group can fall victim to love scams, the elderly tend to lose the most money, particularly due to the fact they are less tech savvy. Romance scams involve a person using a fake social media account to build an online relationship with an unsuspecting victim. They often take on the image of a soldier or someone that the victim would easily trust. The scammer takes time to build that trust before they claim to need financial help in dealing with an unusual circumstance or request.


How to Protect Yourself:


Never send money to someone with whom you have never met in person. Always be cautious of someone who constantly professes their love to you after minimal contact. This is what is known as “love bombing.” It is a tactic that many love scammers rely on to guilt their target. Utilize video chats to confirm the person’s identity and most of all, use your gut if you feel that something is not right.


3. IRS Scams


In an IRS scam, a scammer will contact a person claiming to be the IRS and attempting to collect a debt that is owed. They will request personal information such as name, account information or social security numbers. In turn, they will use the provided information to created fraudulent accounts.


How to Protect Yourself:


Know that the IRS will never contact you over the phone to collect such debt. They will send you formal information on government letterhead through the mail.


Are you familiar with any of these scams? Leave a comment!


Also, contact Quality of Life Home Care and Hospice for your home care needs. We offer services in 11 counties in Pennsylvania!

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