The sheer idea that someone would take advantage of a senior citizen to steal from or otherwise harm them is unthinkable, and yet it happens far too often. Seniors, in fact, are prime targets for scammers, as they tend to be more trusting than younger people and less knowledgeable in the ways of the information age.
The best way to protect your elder loved ones from scammers is to engage in the proper preventative measures. There are steps you can take to prevent scammers from taking advantage of seniors in your life, and it’s far easier to prevent a scam than to deal with one after the fact. Read a number of ways that you can help protect seniors from scams, and how an elder law attorney can help make sure your loved one’s rights are protected.
Personal Information Disclosure
One of the most common forms of scam arises when a scammer calls the home, sends an email or otherwise contacts the senior and tries to get them to disclose personal information for fraudulent use. Make sure that your senior knows that they should never divulge personal information online or over the telephone, and advise that they call you before doing so.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows the senior to designate someone else to make decisions for them. There are financial power of attorney arrangements which allow trusted relatives to manage the assets and funds of the senior, and medical power of attorney, wherein the loved one can make medical decisions on the senior’s behalf. Make sure that power of attorney is only assigned to a trusted relative.
Discount Drug Cards
Many drug companies sell discount drug cards which allow seniors to save a great deal of money on the costs of their prescription medications. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of scammers out there who sell phony cards which can do a lot of harm. Protecting your senior from this scam is simple: no matter how good the deal seems, don’t do it. Order discount drug cards only from Medicare.
Unpublished Phone Numbers
You can pay a small fee to have your parent’s phone number unpublished. Unpublished is not the same as unlisted—it’s a separate step you can take so that their number doesn’t appear anywhere and is far less likely to find its way onto scammer lists. Call your local phone company or provider to find out how you can do this.
Do Not Call
Place your senior relative’s number on the federal do not call list. This way they will know for sure that anyone who does call isn’t a legitimate marketer, since legitimate marketers do not contact people on the list.
Elder Law Attorney
A qualified elder law attorney is the best way to make sure that the rights of the beloved senior in your life are protected at all times. An attorney is glad to talk to clients about whether something might be a scam, and help protect them should they become a victim of this form of elder abuse. If you would like more information, Stano Law can help. Just give us a call today!