Protecting Our Seniors: A Call to Action Against Scams and Fraud

This September, Solutions for Independence Senior Care will celebrate our 23rd year of business. It has been an amazing journey & we have had the honor of helping hundreds of seniors & their families through the years. 

This is a bit of a public service announcement:

As advocates, it is our mission to honor and look out for the best interest of older adults. We want to stress how important it is right now more than ever to protect our seniors. 

I personally have been a senior care advocate for 25 years & never have I seen the amount of deceit, fraud, scams & advantage being taken of the senior population as we are seeing right now.

Phone & Email scams are higher than ever. Checks are being stolen from mailboxes. Dishonest people are posing & attempting to act in roles they are not credentialed to be in. Bank accounts are being compromised. We are all at risk but most especially our vulnerable seniors.

It’s so unfortunate that sometimes the people in our lives who we think we can trust the most, who are supposed to be honoring & taking care of us, may not actually be looking out for our best interest.  

Fortunately there are ways to help protect ourselves & our seniors: 

If you have to order checks from financial institutions, do not have them mailed to your home. If possible, have them delivered directly to your local branch & pick them up in person. Mail theft is at an all time high.

Limit the number of credit cards you are using & do not give out any of your personal information, especially your passcodes to anyone who is not a trusted resource, trusted family member or your power of attorney, 

Do not open emails from anyone that you do not know or companies you’re not familiar with. Also, if you get a phone call, mail or email from a company posing to be your bank, a financial institution, a cable or phone company, a utility company, social security, the IRS, a charity, department store, antivirus software company and they’re asking for money or your personal information, Do Not give it to them without verifying it is not a phishing scam.

There is a cyber scam posing to be an Apple Security Alert warning users that their IOS device was hacked and their personal information at risk.  An alert message pops up on the screen & a voice message repeats a number to call to get the virus removed, for a fee. The best way to back out of it (and the only way I could figure out how to get out of it) is to literally turn the monitor off.  When you turn it back on, the message disappears.  

Phone subscribers are able to add their personal phone numbers to the national Do-Not-Call list, either online at www.donotcall.gov , or by calling toll-free  1-888-382-1222  from the phone number they wish to register.

Check out the consumer guide on Call Blocking Tools and Resources, which includes information on many of the call blocking and labeling tools currently available to consumers.

Also, you can report any financial or physical abuse to your local county department of aging/adult protective services www.dhs.pa.gov

If you feel you are being taken advantage of by a company, friend, family member, virus software co., caregiver or acquaintance, support is available. Contacting a trusted resource like an attorney, your financial advisor, your local police dept, a trusted banker or an advocate can help.  

Now, more than ever it is so important to protect ourselves & most especially our seniors. 

If you, a loved one or a neighbor are concerned about their safety or well being, our advocates can help.

1516930930736
Wendy Long, CMC

Wendy Long, CMC, is CEO ofSolutions For Independence.