Last month’s edition of “Safe Seniors: Newsletter for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and Consumer Fraud in San Diego County,” featured some shocking scams that are currently victimizing vulnerable senior citizens. This infuriates us at Love 2 Live as we know how vulnerable this population can be.
True, Recent Scams Involving the Elderly:
- A 76 year old woman met a businessman on a dating website, who began to mention troubles, such as being hospitalized in Ghana while on business. He asked this woman to bail him out, and she eventually sent him nearly $300,000.
- An 81-year-old woman received a call that she had won $2.5 million and a Mercedes Benz. She paid more than $38,000 to cover what were characterized as taxes and fees. She never received any “prizes.”
- A 74-year-old woman received a call stating the free medical equipment would be given to Medicare beneficiaries, including knee braces, which she needed. She gave the caller her Medicare number but did not receive any equipment.
- A 78-year-old man signed over his home and land to a person claiming to be a real estate broker who promised a significant investment profit with returns of $3,000 to $4,000 per month. Then the payments stopped. After considerable time and expense to sue and win a judgment in court, only $800 has been collected so far.
- A 79-year-old woman called a number from an ad for a chance to win $100. Then letters started arriving, telling her she was eligible to win almost two million in unclaimed prizes. To receive the money she had to send fees, which constantly increased. Within two and a half weeks she lost more than $100,000.
- A salesperson convinced a 69-year-old woman that her $190 per month electric bill would be reduced if she installed a solar system that could be financed at 0% interest. Ultimately, however, she was responsible for $600 per month payments for the system at 16% interest, as stated in the contract.
Don’t Be Scammed!
How can you prevent yourself, or an elderly loved one, from being taken advantage of by savvy crooks?
Ask Away: If something is unclear or suspicious, ask questions until you get the answers you need.
Make Sure to Comprehend: If you don’t understand everything, don’t sign anything.
Don’t Rush: Don’t be too quick to make a significant purchase, especially if financing it, until you understand all of the risks and all of the details.
Do Your Due Diligence: Ask for the credentials of someone asking you to invest money, and ask for documentation about the product and financing. Then do independent research to verify everything.
Ask for Trusted Opinions: Ask the opinion of a family member, friend or advisor and consider it before you act.
Protect Your Credit Cards: Make sure only you have access to your credit cards.
Most Importantly, Remember:
- Overseas lotteries are false.
- Don’t feel bad about hanging up on someone.
- If you suspect criminal activity, contact local law enforcement immediately.
Love 2 Live Carefully Screened Caregivers Help Protect Seniors
Having a senior companion reduces the loneliness that makes seniors vulnerable to telephone and door-to-door scams. More, the senior caregiver can help clients and their families screen calls and meet sales people at the door, indicating the senior is not alone.
Contact us at 619-291-4663, and we will gladly provide a no-obligation in-home assessment, free of charge. If you are a concerned relative living outside of Rancho Bernardo, or even if you reside in another state, no need to worry about your elderly relation … simply call Love 2 Live Home Services, and we’ll be there for you and your loved ones!