It can happen to the best of us. You hear the sound of the phone trilling in the background as you make our way over to pick up and answer. Perhaps the number on the ID isn’t recognizable, but you decide to reach over and receive what may be an important call. The voice on the other end sounds innocent enough as they claim to be a grandchild or even great-grandchild calling. They proceed to tell you that they are in trouble and need to borrow some money. Perhaps they share that the funds are to pay some debt or help after an accident or even post bail. Believing this to be true and wanting to do anything in your power to help your loved one, you may find yourself wiring the money to none other than a scammer who is only pretending to be a relative in need.
Unfortunately, this exact scenario has played out, much to the misfortune of the grandparent. Scammers are everywhere and they may target anyone, though the National Center for Victims of Crime have found individuals over the age of sixty-five to be the most common victims. The scam artist may even go as far as to pretend to be calling on behalf of a government agency such as the IRS and claim you owe them money. In a panic you may whip out your credit card and hand over the numbers just to ward off their threats of debt collectors and arrest. Ploys such as these are shameful, but they are also common enough to accumulate forty to fifty billion dollars a year.
Scammers know what to say to ignite your anxiety, whether it’s a loved one in distress or a claim that you owe money. Some are even more at risk than others of falling victim to a scam. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia may not remember if they need to pay a debt or that they even have a relative with the name the scammer gave. Some scammers will call simply to get your information by pretending to be from a medial or life insurance agency. They may even look online to see if you have a social media account and skim through names of people you know, only to use that name when they call asking for cash. Those with memory loss are likely to be easy prey, especially if they are living alone without anyone to look into the validity of the call.
Affordable Care at Home knows the financial risk of falling for such scams. Our in-home-care providers can help our clients intercept suspicious calls and offer a listening ear if such a call is received and needs to be discussed. A phone call to a fellow relative can sometimes clear up any confusion. When you or a loved one is receiving the quality care provided by Affordable Care at Home there is a sense of security not only from making sure needs are being met, but also from those who can take so much from something as simple as a phone call.
Brenoff, Ann. “Study Finds Elderly Scams Cost 12 TIMES More Than Previously Thought.” The Huffington Post. n.p. 5 Feb. 2015. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.