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Elder Fraud: Beware! The Areas Con Artists Try Take Advantage of Seniors and Their Families

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Many con artists target senior populations for several reasons: they are home and can answer the phone, they have time to read their mail, they maybe more lonely due to isolation, and the current generation of seniors are said to be trusting and polite to the general public. Additionally, families of seniors are vulnerable to fall prey to scams when they are in the midst stressful medical situations or funeral arrangements. The following are situations and tips to be aware of in order to help protect against a scam.

Medicare/Insurance Fraud

Some scam artists will pose as a Medicare or Medicaid representative over the telephone. Be aware of anyone who tells you over the phone that you must replace your Medicare or Medicaid card. The next thing they will ask is to provide you with your personal information or Medicare/Medicaid numbers. They may use this information to:

  • Steal your identity,
  • charge Medicare/Medicaid for services not rendered,
  • Or bill for medical equipment that you do not need and also, may not receive.

Safety Tips: To protect yourself from this kind of fraud do not give out your personal information to telemarketers. If you are not sure if the phone call is a telemarketer, hang up the phone and call your physicians office to ask them about your outstanding bills. Be sure to keep accurate records of your medical bills.

Pseudo Prescription Drugs

Many people will go online to search for more cost effective medications. There is a danger to this for two reasons: one is the drug may not be effective or it could be poisonous to the body, and secondly, you may be wasting your finances on an ineffective medication.

Safety Tips: If you are purchasing medications online be sure that you are buying from a licensed provider. These companies are monitored by the FDA. Know that if a deal is too good to be true this medication may not be to its true potency or contain toxic products. In the event, that you experience extreme side effects be sure to always contact your physician or pharmacist.

Cemetery/Funeral Scams

When loved ones are making difficult decisions about funeral arrangements they may be convinced of a few things. Certain funeral homes may not give you the full information and inform you that a casket is required in order to do a cremation. Other scammers may approach family members at a funeral service (found in the obituary) and insist that the deceased person owes them money.

Safety Tips: Try to plan ahead for funeral arrangements and inform loved ones of the specifics. When talking with the funeral director get specific details about the cost of everything before a decision is made. Lastly, enlist someone to handle and to be aware of your current financial situation in order to avoid scammers insisting that there is an outstanding debt.

At Home Care Assistance, we strive to provide the highest quality care to our clients. Our Care Managers are degreed professionals, who create a comprehensive and personalized plan of care for each client, after conferring with doctors, family, and the client.  They train and supervise a consistent care team assigned to each client. Our Care Managers are personally responsible for, and work to ensure, client and family satisfaction.  Call us today, 402-261-5158 to learn more.


Photo credit: Images Money, Money Down the Drain