Senior fraud and scams are a real threat to the financial stability of older populations. Some studies suggest that scammers glean an average of $3 billion per year from seniors living in the U.S.
These scams vary from identity and medication theft to Medicare scams and financial exploitation such as calling seniors claiming to be a family member that needs money. To help combat these types of scams and fraud, one senior care organization created several tools to help family members and senior care providers identify different types of scams and help seniors avoid becoming a victim.
The stress, shame, and fear associated with being scammed can have a horrible effect on seniors’ health, according to the senior care video about the warning signs of fraud. The American Medical Association conducted a study of the effects of scam and fraud on the elderly, which showed that victims of elder mistreatment have a mortality rate that’s three times the average elderly population’s mortality rate.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation states that the elderly are more vulnerable to scams because they tend to be more financial sound than other populations, they are more trusting, and they are less likely to report a scam or fraud to authorities out of fear that their children or caregivers will feel they are unable to take care of themselves.
So how can your senior care or home health care agency help protect seniors from fraud and scam? Here are some tips:
- Watch for behavior or lifestyle changes. Do they seem embarrassed, depressed, or less talkative lately? Ask what’s going on and see if you can get some answers to help them.
- Scrutinize new friends that appear in a senior’s life. Watch for unusual or aggressive behavior. Have employees submit any concerns to your agency first before taking an action such as contacting the senior’s children or relatives.
- Advise seniors to shred sensitive mail or documents before discarding to prevent identity theft.
- If a senior reports being the victim of fraud, contact your local law enforcement agency and file a report.
- Check out FBI.gov for more information on how to prevent senior fraud.
At Heffernan Insurance Brokers, we specialize in insurance products for home health and senior care organizations across the U.S. Call 800-234-6787 for more information or to talk to one of our insurance specialists today.