When seniors are aging at home, there is a risk that they will become the victims of a scam. Many seniors fall for scams that are cleverly designed to trick them into giving up their personal information, bank account information, or credit card information. Scammers have created very sophisticated scams that anyone could fall for, especially seniors who may not be very tech savvy. If your senior loved one is the victim of a scam they may not realize it, or they may be too embarrassed to tell you about it. But if you see any of these four signs you should act as if your senior loved one has been scammed and take action immediately to try and mitigate the financial damage:
If you are a signer on your senior parent’s accounts or if you keep track of their finances for them and you notice that money is disappearing that could be a sign they have been scammed. Carefully check where the money is going. If the money is going to the pharmacy or to local businesses then it could be money that your senior loved one is spending. But if the money is only going to online businesses and the amounts are more than your senior loved one usually spends you should freeze those debits and credit cards and look into those purchases.
Your Senior Loved One Skimping On Things
Is your senior loved one not keeping as much food in the house? Or have you noticed that they have cut back on cable TV or other services that they used to have? If your senior loved one is skimping on things they may have lost money to a scam and they are too embarrassed to tell you. If your senior loved one has senior home care as the provider why those services are disappearing. And ask the home care provider to keep an eye on things like how well the pantry is stocked and to let you know if it seems like your senior loved one is worrying about money.
Bills Not Getting Paid
Many seniors set up automatic payments for their bills to make sure that the bills are paid on time. If you notice that your senior loved one is getting bills in the mail that haven’t been paid even though they are on automatic payments check to make sure that the automatic payments are going through. If there is low money in your senior parent’s accounts the bills could be bouncing because of that.
Debt Collection Calls
If your senior loved one is starting to get debt collection calls but they don’t owe any debts that could be a sign they were scammed. If scammers opened up accounts in your senior parent’s name using their personal information your senior parent could get calls from collection companies when the scammers default on the debt. Ask the debt collectors for information like account numbers and any evidence of the debt. You may need that documentation to fight the debt and prove that your senior parent never opened the account.