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Senior Care in Hillsborough: 6 Ways Senior Citizens Can Avoid Scams

June 3, 2016

Protecting yourself from scammers is an important part of senior care. Seniors are an easy target for scammers and are victims of fraud throughout the country. Many people receiving social security or retirement payments who are lonely or isolated are more likely to listen to a pitch from a stranger or help out a loved one. Research reveals that seniors lose about $36.5 billion annually to financial abuses like scams, health care and health insurance fraud, counterfeit prescription drugs and reverse mortgage fraud. Con artists know that seniors are a great target because they most likely have a nest egg of savings, own their own home and have excellent credit. Often the elderly are more trusting, more likely to not report a crime and are often poor witnesses. Here are a few tips to help you avoid being scammed.

Protect your personal identity. Make an effort to limit access to your name, social security and medicare numbers, date and place of birth and maiden names. Many people know to not carry around your social security number, but don’t know that your medicare card is identical to your social security number.
Recognize common perpetrators. Often family members, longtime neighbors and paid caregivers are abusers. 90% are related to their elderly victims.
Watch for warning signs. Check your bank statements for unexplained withdrawals or transfers to other accounts, bank statements not arriving, changes in banks or attorneys, missing property or belongings and new authorized signers or suspicious signatures on checks or other documents.
Protect your valuables and financial records. Have a list of art, jewelry or heirlooms in the home and share it with another trusted relative.
Be active. Social seniors are less likely to fall victim to scammers.
Report abuse. According to the National Adult Protective Services Association only 1 out of 44 case of elder financial abuse is ever reported.
Have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the Chapel Hill or Durham area?
Need a qualified person to provide in home care?
Acorn can help you get qualified, compassionate in home care givers.

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