In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney passes along five practical tips to seniors, or your senior loved ones, for keeping them from being victims of scams.
How to Help Prevent Elders From Being Victims of Scams
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. I want to use my time today to pass along some tips to you, practical things for keeping, if you’re a senior, from you being the victim of a scam or if you have a senior who is a loved one, keeping them from being a victim of a scam.
First thing, and this probably would seem obvious but by golly does it happens every day, if you get an email or a letter or other communication telling you that you have come into a bit of big money you just need to send a little bit of money, $1000 or so, to somebody else first, don’t do it. That’s a scam 100 times out of 100.
Second, if you need to get a home care agency make sure that you’ve found out from them that they carefully screen their employees. Do they run background checks on them? Do they run criminal checks? Are you letting somebody into your house that you can trust?
Third, if someone comes to your door trying to sell you services, a roof repair person after a storm, somebody who wants to fix this or fix that for you, change or clean your furnace or what have you, don’t let them into your home. Legitimate businesses exist to provide all of those services, they have store fronts, they are well known. Contact somebody reputable, it’s not worth saving a little money to lose a lot.
Fourth, and again this one may seem strange or obvious, but don’t let strangers into your home. Often times strangers get into the home by telling you something plausible: “Well, I’m here from the electric company, I’m here from your cable company.” Well, you know what, if you haven’t requested service there’s not a particular reason for them to be there. So, just say either “No, I’m not going to let you in” or “You need to stand at the front porch, give me your card and I’m going to call your company and make sure they sent you out here today.”
The last one is to make sure that you inventory and safe keep and insure your valuables. That’s especially the case with small items like jewelry. When thieves get into your home, they’re not likely to carry out some big item like a big screen TV or a refrigerator, they’re looking for little things that they can stick in their pocket. So, you know, jewelry don’t leave it in the drawer. If you have any valuable jewelry, put it into some kind of a lockbox or a safe and make sure that it’s insured so that if something does happen, you’ll recover the loss.
So, I hope those are some helpful tips and we care. Thanks.
For more information on helping elders, visit these articles:
- Victim Risk Factors For Elder Financial Abuse – Part 1
- Victim Risk Factors For Elder Financial Abuse – Part 2
- Financial Exploitation of Elders: The Two Basic Types
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.