Top tips to help your elderly family members avoid scams
Every year, the elderly and seniors become the number one target of financial fraudsters as they don’t know how modern technology works. To protect your parents and grandparents from scammers and con artists, it is essential to make them aware of such problems and teach them how to protect themselves. Follow the tips below to prevent your elderly parents or grandparents from becoming the victim of fraudsters:
Teach them about the common scams
The most common way the elderly become the victims of scammers is through telephone calls. Once you convince them that all the calls they receive except their family members are from scammers, it becomes pretty difficult to fool them. Still, you should go the extra step and make them aware of the common tactics that scammers use.
Tell them not to believe anything and hang up if the caller does the following:
- Claims to be a government official or from the lottery department, tech support, charity, healthcare, insurance, or even a romantic partner.
- Asks for personal information like address, social security number, credit card number, etc.
- Wants to provide you free money, offers, or items
- Speaks in a robotic voice
- Threatens you and forces you to make an important decision quickly
Teach them how to act under pressure
Let them know that government officials such as from the IRS would never call taxpayers, demand them to pay taxes, or threaten them to send police to their address. Nobody sounds like a robot and pretends to kidnap their grandchildren. No unknown stranger would call them even to ask, ‘Can you hear me?’ or ‘Are you there?’
If they ever encounter such circumstances, let them know that there is no need to be scared and that they should immediately hang up. There is no need to reply even with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ or press any buttons to speak with a live operator.
Register their number on the Do-Not-Call Registry
It is crucial to register their number on the Do-Not-Call Registry to reduce the number of unwanted calls. You can access the registry by visiting https://www.donotcall.gov/ or calling 1-888-382- 1222. Also, let your phone provider know just to be extra safe. If they still receive any unwanted calls, report the callers by visiting https://www.ftc.gov/ or calling 1-877-382-4357.
Teach them not to click on any links
If your parents or grandparents use social media, it is crucial to let them know not to click on any external links that promise free products or money. If they want to buy any products, they should confirm the details of the website with you. If they check their emails, make sure they understand why it is important not to visit the scam section and click on links from unknown email addresses. Also, inform them not to click on links inside messages from unknown numbers.
Keep a close eye on your elderly parents or grandparents to make sure they don’t become the victim of fraud such as identity thefts. If you suspect something wrong, review their actions and inform the necessary authorities of the suspected fraud to reduce or prevent any damages from occurring.