Scams and schemes targeting seniors continue to be prevalent. Identity theft remains a prime concern for the seniors and their caretakers. Unfortunately the behavior of family members and extended family members along with strangers need to be carefully monitored to ensure the safety of the seniors in your family. This is where the senior fraud protection kit can assist.
Free Senior Fraud Protection Kit
A free senior fraud protection kit is available for family members and seniors to help identify fraud schemes. Tools and awareness alerts are included to help identify the most common scams and what should be done if they occur. Click here for a pdf of the kit. The kit can be downloaded and printed. Also included is the Criminal Target evaluation guide which is a good resource. Our local Home Instead Senior Care office offers the free senior protection kits to help prevent fraud particularly Internet fraud and financial scams. The kit also provides guidelines and checklists for identify and bank verification, document shredding, financial abuse and what to do if a scam has been detected.
Top Senior Scams
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has identified the top 10 scams which target the senior citizen population. For a variety of reasons seniors can be the target of the unscrupulous and opportunity seeking individuals. Financial schemes and scams are especially prevalent in todays’ society. The top five scams according to NCOA:
Health Care Insurance and Medicare Fraud
Individuals pose as a Medicare representative to gain personal information which could be used to file fraudulent Medicare claims.
This is typically an internet based scam in which products are promised or sold which do not benefit the participant and could be harmful depending upon the contents of the product. Due to the high cost of prescriptions, particularly for those without adequate prescription coverage, seeking a better price from an internet company poses risks. The company should be vetted prior to considering its’ use.
Two different scams according to the FBI take advantage of grieving family members. A person reads the obits and then attends the funeral and seeks money from the mourners or family members claiming unpaid debts of the deceased. The second scam is where funeral directors or those employed in the funeral business advise a casket is necessary for cremation in order to inflate the cost of the funeral services. Less expensive or cardboard caskets can be purchased for direct cremation.
Fake Cosmetic Products
This is a huge industry where products promise anti aging and in fact are fraudulent or the product does not consist what is promised. Fake botox or sketchy homeopathic products are frequently pitched.
Fake charity pitches are common as are fake accidents asking a person to send money to assist a family member in a hospital or accident.