ClearCare: Helping you care for others

3 Common Senior Scams & How to Avoid Them

May 9, 2012

While the wisdom and compassion of the elderly are traits that should be respected, criminals often view seniors as an easy target for scams due to a typically trusting nature and potentially failing memory. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seniors are increasingly popular target for scammers due to a polite and trusting nature, as well as a reduced probability to report a scam due to embarrassment or a lack of knowledge regarding who to report fraud to.

However, there are ways to help keep seniors safe from scams. By being aware of the most common types of senior scams, and tracking any suspicious activity with the help of home care software or home care systems, family members and home care providers can keep an eye out for warning signs and keep scammers at bay.

Medical Equipment/Services Fraud: Non-reputable medical supply providers, and care providers sometimes scam seniors and their insurance by submitting invoices for services or products that were never provided. However, utilizing reputable agencies for home care services and supplies can help avoid this type of fraud. A home care service utilizing home care software or home care systems, like ClearCare, can provide customers with real-time tracking of services and always ensure seniors that they’re being fairly billed for services.

Counterfeit Prescription Drugs: According to the FBI, the prevalence of counterfeit prescription drugs is growing. Seniors may be tempted by an online ad or salesperson who offers medications at a drastically reduced price, and forego filling prescriptions through the proper channels. Prescriptions should always be filled through a reputable pharmacy, while family caregivers and home care providers need to take care when examining medications to be sure the pills match label descriptions and looks like previously filled prescriptions. Home care providers can play a vital part in monitoring potential forfeit medications my noting any suspicions during medication reminders in their home care software or home care systems, and closely monitoring any unfamiliar medications in a routine that home care software records don’t show  a new prescription for.

Telemarketing Fraud: Every home receives daily calls from marketers promising a major prize, or magical service. However, telemarketing scammers target seniors by promising a great value on a product, or large prize if seniors just send a sum of cash, give a credit card number or complete a money transfer. These offers typically leave seniors with no prize, and cash that is never seen again. Seniors should always avoid buying products from unfamiliar companies, and ask for any offers to be sent to them in writing for review. Or, better yet, simply say “No, thank you,” and hang up. In the event family members notice a troubling calls, ask home care providers to assist by making a note in their home care software or home care systems for caregivers to help track any suspicious calls. These home care systems records can then be used by family members and other caregivers to monitor suspicious or harassing calls and contact authorities.

Senior citizens deserve to live out their lives without being financially, physically or emotionally harmed by scams that aim to take advantage of someone based on their age. With the help of savvy family caregivers and home care providers, as well as tracking available from technologies like home care software and home care systems, seniors can rest assured that they are safe from scams.

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