If you answer your phone or watch the news, you know there are no shortage of scammers out there who try to gain access to your personal information and finances. But, did you know that senior citizens are at a higher risk for being scammed? Scammers often see senior citizens as easier prey and target them more often. In addition, if your parent has already fallen for a scam, they may be more likely to fall for another. If you don’t live close to your parents, it can be difficult to protect them from fraudulent phone calls, emails, and letters. It’s tempting to just take total control of the situation by insisting that your parents give over complete control of their finances to you, but doing that could come with some consequences. Your parents may resent your suggestion and feel as though you think they are incompetent, which could cause an argument. So, if taking control isn’t the answer, how can you talk to your parents about avoiding scams? Here are some tips to help.
#1 Don’t Place Blame
Be gentle with your parents and don’t blame them if they fall victim to fraud. Instead, remind them that when you were a child they taught you not to trust strangers. Suggest that they do the same, particularly when that stranger is asking for personal information or money.
#2 Try Turning the Tables
Remember when your parents used reverse psychology to convince you not to do something? That just may work on them, too. If your parent is making an unwise investment or entering a sweepstakes that doesn’t seem legitimate, ask how you can get in on some of the action. They may warn you against doing it because they don’t want you to lose money, which opens the door for you to ask why they are participating.
#3 Explain Why Something is a Scam
Instead of just telling your parents to hang up the phone or throw a letter away to avoid fraud, explain to them why you believe someone is attempting to scam them. Explain to them that prizes awarded in legitimate contests don’t require that you send money to receive the prize, that the government will never call and ask them to provide personal information, or that it is impossible to win a contest without entering it.
#4 Let Your Parents Help Others
Encourage your parents to use their bad experience to help someone else. Ask them to report the incident to the police or share the experience with a local news station that may want to use it to warn others. They may also want to tell friends about what happened so the same doesn’t happen to them.
Certainly talking to your parents about fraud and how they can avoid being victims should be your first step. However, if you’re worried that no matter how hard you try, your parents could fall prey, it may be helpful to enlist the aid of others to keep a watchful eye. Family caregivers and in-home caregivers hired through reputable agencies can help keep your parent safe by fielding phone calls and keeping an eye on the kinds of mail that they receive.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Houston, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author
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