I was talking on the phone with some of my loved ones recently, and we were discussing all the scam phone calls that we have been getting lately. It seems like each week there is a new method that someone has come up with to try to extract my personal information from me! The most recent one that I’ve experienced has been the “Hey, we noticed you still have an outstanding college loan that needs to be paid, and we have a great deal for you to pay it off!” I haven’t had an outstanding college loan for 20 years! They even say things like, “Oh, I see that you called me about this, and I am returning YOUR call.”
So, we all agree that we have had these experiences, and they have all made us think twice about the validity of these calls. Hopefully, we catch ourselves before we do anything silly like share information, but I would be confident in saying that many of us have not. Just think, if someone else that we love is receiving these calls, and maybe they are struggling with cognitive issues or experiencing fatigue because they are a caregiver for their loved one, they are going to be even more susceptible to such tactics. We can be helpful to all of our loved ones, neighbors, and friends by just reminding them to be careful when people reach out and contact them. Be sure to also remind them that if they have not initiated a phone call or other interaction about their personal information, specifically their finances, that they should be wary and need to gather further information before doing anything.
Let your aging loved ones know that they can call you or someone else that they trust and ask about the situation. If they are confused about why someone is calling, let them know that they can ask that person what company they represent. It’s important to educate yourself and your aging loved ones about scams. For more detailed information about Do Not Call Registries and the Federal Trade Commissions’ actions about this issue, you can go to National Do Not Call Registry FAQs | FTC Consumer Information.
Written by Michael Stickney, Certified Care Manager at Preferred Living Solutions.