1. Don’t stay on that phone! 10 seconds and you’re done.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with consumer advocacy groups like Fraud.org urge seniors to guard against even engaging in conversations with strangers calling their homes. Scammers make it their business to persuade, befuddle, and trap seniors into sharing personal information. A prolific scam that has recently experienced a resurgence has involved people posing as representatives of the court to call victims demanding they pay penalties for missed jury duty. The threats and shaming throw victims off balance, moving some of them to want to pay up to make things right. If it sounds too terrible to be true, hang up. Make a 10-second rule for phone calls. No good can come of staying on the line longer, so don’t.
2. Just because the doorbell rings doesn't mean you should open the door.
The longer a con artist keeps a senior at the door, the more likely that senior will be coerced into boundaries-crossing conversations and exposing information about living arrangements. Seniors who could be characterized as “friendly” lose four times as much to elder abuse because of their tendency to give criminals the benefit of the doubt. When a solicitor knocks, the FBI recommends seniors shout, “I’ll get it!” as they approach, regardless of their living situations. Speak only through a closed, locked door. Politely end conversations and be done.
3. Ask for help if something doesn't seem right.
Families are scrambling to protect loved ones from torrents of too-good-to-be-true offers, manipulative voices over the phone, and random bills as the tempo of scams reaches a fever pitch. Families shouldn’t neglect to tell loved ones to reach out if they feel worried about calls or correspondence they receive.
Signs it’s a scam:
- Demands for upfront payment.
- Promises of cash, prizes or trips.
- Fear mongering and threats
- Repeated calls/visits despite requests for no further contact.
- Offers to send a courier to pick up payment.
A LegalShield membership really can act as a safety net. There are some real sharks out there and we offer protection. I see us as shielding elderly people from those who wish to prey on them. LegalShield memberships are available in all 50 States and cover so much more than just IDT issues. To better understand who we are and what we do, go to; www.successudeserve.com