If you are an adult child of aging parents, you likely worry about many things. From physical safety to their happiness and well-being, family caregivers go to great lengths to care for a senior loved one. A safety issue many aren’t familiar with is senior fraud.
Because criminals often view older adults as more vulnerable, targeting them for summer scams is common. That’s why it’s important to educate your older loved ones about the most common summer scams.
Scams to Discuss with a Senior This Summer
- Blacktop sealing and roofing: Scammers go door-to-door posing as contractors and claim they have leftover materials from a job nearby. They offer the older adult a great deal on driveway sealing or a new roof since they are “already working in the area.” The catch is the senior must decide on-the-spot and put down a substantial deposit. In reality, they are committing outright fraud or do inferior work. Some start the job and never return. Encourage your senior loved one to talk with you before agreeing to any unsolicited home repairs.
- Fake magazine fundraisers: An aging parent may also fall victim to a fake magazine sale fundraiser. A salesperson—sometimes even a teenager—will go door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions they claim are part of a fundraiser. Upfront payment is required. Unfortunately, the older adult never receives their magazine.
- Door-to-door thieves: People are outdoors and more accessible during the summer. This makes it easier for door-to-door thieves to make their rounds. Working in teams, one scammer finds a way to distract the senior outside while the other sneaks inside and steals their valuables. Sometimes a criminal will sneak in looking for valuables to steal. They return later to rob the home when the older adult is away.
There are additional steps you can take to help your senior loved one avoid becoming a crime statistic this summer.
How to Protect a Senior from Summer Scams
- Stay alert for new scams: While the scams outlined above are common, criminals develop new ones all the time. Watch your local news and follow your local police or sheriff department on Facebook to stay on top of new concerns.
- Buy a home safe: Installing a safe in a closet or other discreet location can also help protect your loved one. If a potential thief is able to get inside, having valuables locked up may discourage them.
- Post a “No Solicitation” sign: While it might not seem very welcoming, posting a “No Solicitation” sign is another prevention step. This makes it easier for authorities to intervene when your aging parent or older friend notifies them that someone is on their property uninvited.
- Use reminder notes: Not all senior scams are door-to-door. Some are conducted by telephone. By your family member’s phone, post a reminder to hang up on strangers and to never give any financial information. The grandparents’ scam, where a person claiming to be a grandchild calls with a fake emergency asking for money, is one of the most popular.
- Install a video doorbell: Another option to consider is installing a video doorbell. Some send an alert to your phone and the senior’s when someone comes to the door. You can even talk with them through the app. That will help you monitor the older adult’s home wherever you are.
Resident safety is taken seriously at senior living communities. With precautions ranging from fire suppression systems to emergency call alerts, older adults are at lower risk for scams and safety issues. Call one of our experienced senior care advisors today at 800-304-8061 to learn more. Our guidance is always at no cost to older adults and families!
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