Top 8 Senior Scams and How to Avoid Them

November 27th, 2014 by John Wilson

Ask senior care services about common senior scams.

Senior care services should help seniors avoid scams.

Scammers victimize seniors in all income brackets, often preying on isolation, loneliness or lack of technological savvy. Whether you live alone or enjoy senior care services, here’s a list of scams targeted at seniors and tips on how to avoid them.

Fraudulent Phone Calls

Illicit calls asking for money are prevalent. These may be for fake charities or perhaps stating a relative is in the hospital and needs financial help. Protect yourself by verifying charities or calling family members and other institutions before parting with your money.

Email or Phone Calls Asking for Personal Information

Some schemers claim to be from an official institution, such as your bank or Medicare, and ask you to update or verify personal information. They then use that information to gain access to your accounts. If you receive a call or email from someone you do not know asking for personal information, don’t give it out. If they are legitimate, you should be able to contact them through listed numbers and verified websites.

Other Online Fraud

Many online scams, like fraudulent phone calls, promise large sums of money if you just pay out a little first, either to help out a Nigerian prince, collect lottery winnings or some other made-up scenario. Any check or money order you might get will not be legitimate, and the scammers will be long gone with your payments. Remember, if you legitimately have money coming to you, you should not have to pay to collect it.

Fake Prescription Medicines

Living assistance experts know you can find less expensive prescription medications online, but counterfeit medication is a real danger. Before buying, verify your pharmacy using sites like and the Canadian Internet Pharmacy Association.

Funeral or Cemetery Scams

Some funeral homes will pad their bill with unnecessary or inflated fees, while other scams include a stranger at the funeral trying to collect on a false debt they claim the deceased owes them. Experts on senior care services recommend that during times of grief, you either put off financial decisions or have a trusted family member help.

Bogus Anti-Aging Products

2006 saw fake Botox distributors convicted and jailed but not before they made 1.5 million in profits. Be wary of anti-aging claims, particularly when potentially dangerous substances and methods are used. Always research products and doctors first.

Investment Scams

There are many investment schemes, but a common factor is the promise of a big payoff. Often, high-pressure tactics are used, such as saying you must act quickly or “get in now.” Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s also advisable to use only reputable financial advisers and institutions.

Grandparent Scams

Here the caller pretends to be a grand kid, saying something like “Hi Grandma, can you guess who this is?” If the senior plays along, the scammer goes on to ask for money for rent, bail or something else urgent, often asking for payment through Western Union. By simply calling your relative or loved one back after verifying details with other family members, you can avoid this scam.

When you are ready for living assistance that helps you stay connected, contact us. We offer you an affordable apartment lifestyle with the community and assisted living in Oklahoma City you really want.

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