It is distasteful but it happens all the time. Seniors being scammed. With the holiday season just around the corner, scammers are becoming more creative in the plot to scam seniors.
Imagine a lonely senior who sought out companionship online or offline only to lose money and get hurt because of a dating scam. Or a call about a free or highly discounted travel or cruise package which in fact was just a normal package with unnecessary additions like a $39 drink package per day for soda, house wine and beer. How much beer, house wine or soda could a senior drink per day?
Senior scams are a serious issue. If not addressed it may lead to financial loss and emotional pain.
Here are four areas to be aware of before it is too late:
With the high cost of prescription and over the counter medication, seniors are finding it hard to pay for their medical needs. A special discount or offer card always seems enticing. What more if it sounds like one from the government like a Medicare drug discount card? Not all of them are legitimate. Check the sources and do your research before buying into one.
Medicare has a list of approved companies that they use. You can check online or call Medicare at 800-MEDICARE. Medicare approved companies are not allowed to sell their products door-to-door or take a sale transaction over the telephone.
Two: Leisure and Travel
“You just won a free trip to Aruba” or “Since you are our regular customer we have a 7-day cruise waiting for you to claim, just pay the taxes and shore excursions. We will take care of the rest.”
Seen or heard those? Travel scams are common. Some may be legitimate but there is a price to pay, that is to sit through a time-share presentation and sales presentation that will leave you wanting what they sell.
Leisure and travel activities are alluring because they are tied to fun, relaxation and adventure. It could also cost a lot of money to go on a cruise or travel if you are struggling to pay the bills. Scammers know that seniors have the free time to travel and a free travel or leisure offer will surely get their attention.
These offers are found online too. So be aware of what is out there and do not buy into free travel or cruises. When in doubt, check with your friends and family before giving your personal information.
If you have reserved a cruise or tour with a reputable company, remember they may want to upsell you packages or conveniences you may not need. Find out what you need and can afford and stick with your decision. You may not need a $39 per day drink package while cruising. Imagine a 7-day cruise will cost you $273 just for drinks you may not consume.
According to FTC, charity scams are found in the mail, through the phone or email. Here are some warning signs from the FTC:
1. High pressure pitches
2. A thank you for a pledge you don’t remember making
3. Requests for cash
4. Charities that offer to send an overnight delivery service to collect your money
5. Charities that guarantee sweepstakes winnings
6. Charities that spring up overnight, especially those that involve natural disasters or claim to be police officers, veterans or firefighters.
Many of us have received some form or another of the above outlined by FTC. Please beware of these charity scams.
Caregivers, if you are planning for a vacation or to getaway from it all, please remember to call Keeping In Touch Solutions to check on your loved ones, so you can have peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be called by a safe person. We are very aware of senior scams and frauds and have dealt with it quite a lot.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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