Protect Your Parent from Fraud Using These Tips

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would want to scam your elderly parent out of their money or try to steal their identity. However, older adults are actually a frequent target of scam artists. They are seen as being vulnerable for a number of reasons. One of them is that they grew up in a time when people tended to be more trusting. They also usually have money saved and own their houses, so they may have readily available assets. As a caregiver to your parent, you want to make sure no one takes advantage of them. Below are a couple of tips that can help caregivers keep their parents safe from fraud.

Keep Their Identity Safe

Identity theft is a form of fraud in which someone seeks to gain personal information about your parent, such as a Social Security number or account numbers, so that they can pretend to be them and take out loans or open financial accounts in their name. This can leave your parent liable for the debt the thief racks up. Caregivers can help to keep their parent’s identity safe by talking to them about the dangers of identity theft. Some things to focus on are:

  • Credit Reports: Ask your parent if you can look over their credit reports with them for anomalous items, like accounts they don’t recognize.
  • Credit Freeze: If you notice problems on their credit reports, suggest that they request a credit freeze to keep scammers from opening more accounts.
  • Social Security Number: Advise your parent not to keep their Social Security card in their purse or wallet. Also, remind them not to give the number out unless they are absolutely certain they are dealing with someone who has a legitimate need for it.

Avoid Health Insurance and Medicare Fraud

Some thieves try to use the insurance or Medicare accounts of older adults to profit illegally. Some ways caregivers can advice seniors to prevent this type of fraud are:

  • Don’t purchase health related items or services from door-to-door solicitors, not even if they claim the services are free. These people often collect information about the senior’s Medicare account to bill for services they did not provide. Or, they may sell the older adult an item, collect the money, and never deliver.
  • Caregivers should help their parents to look over their medical bills and the explanation of benefits from their insurer. If there are services you don’t recognize or something seems amiss, contact the provider or the insurance company.

Sources
https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2019/protect-parents-fraud.html?intcmp=AE-HP-LL1
https://www.consumerreports.org/elder-fraud/ways-to-stop-senior-citizen-scams/
https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/money-management/scams-security/22-tips-to-avoid-scams-swindles/
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes/seniors

For caregivers in Bloomfield, NJ, call ComForCare Home Care at 973-287-4718. Serving Caldwell, Clifton, Montclair, Bloomfield, Nutley, Verona, Little Falls, Cedar Grove, Totowa, Essex Fells, Roseland, Glen Ridge, West Paterson, Fairfield, Passaic, Belleville.

About Zack Demopoulos

Zack and Phyllis Demopoulos are the Owners of ComForcare Senior Services of Fairfield, NJ.

Whether it’s in business or in life, finding the right partner is vital to the success of any union.Fortunately, Zack and Phyllis Demopoulos have found the perfect counterparts in each other.After 21 years of marriage, the couple decided to join forces in a new way with ComForcare.Zack had over two decades in healthcare at Warner-Lambert and Pfizer, and Phyllis was a stay-at-home mom of three and former Estée Lauder trainer.Their strong family values and personal experience with helping relatives who required continuous assistance led them to a business
centered on providing top-notch care to those needing it most. ComForcare is committed to providing caregiving, resources and education to families in Northern Essex and Southern Passaic counties.
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