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What to know about scams focused on the elderly

  • They are more likely to have excellent credit and/or own their own home.
  • They were raised to be more polite and trusting and therefore less likely to hang up the telephone or say “no.”
  • They’re less likely to report fraud because they may be embarrassed or in some cases not even realize they were a victim of a scam.

Some common scams targeted at seniors include:

  1. Medicare or health insurance scams
  2. Counterfeit prescription drugs
  3. Telemarketing scams
  4. Investment schemes

What can you do?

Here are some tips for caregivers to keep loved ones safe from scams:

  • Visit your elderly loved ones regularly, and ask about recent phone calls they’ve received. Check their mailbox, and if it seems to be overflowing with promotional mailings, this may indicate they are on a scam mailing list.
  • Involve yourself in your loved ones’ financial decisions as much as possible. If your loved one is having trouble managing their personal finances, this is especially important.
  • Warn your loved one to never give out their Social Security Number or credit card number to anyone who calls them.
  • Put your loved ones’ phone number on the National Do Not Call registry by calling (888) 382-1222 or visit the National Do Not Call Registry website.

For more information

If you’d like more information about common scams targeting the elderly, visit the National Council on Aging website.