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Reduce Senior Scam Risk by Protecting Everyday Numbers

By Lauren Robison, 10:13 pm on

Caring for aging parents can be a somewhat emotional and difficult task. Aside from potential help with daily living activities such as bathing and meal preparation, adult children often have to make transportation arrangements and provide medication reminders on a daily basis.

However, in addition to the practical tasks, children of aging parents have a much more important role to play. As a protector of the finances and personal data, family caregivers responsible for estate planning must ensure their parents are not the target of fraud or other foul play. The following, presented by New Hampshire Home Care Assistance, are just a few tips for how to reduce the chances that your aging parent or loved one is the victim of senior fraud.

Know the Numbers Game

Senior citizens are perhaps the most common target of crimes such as identity theft and wire fraud. This is because they are by nature more trusting and less likely to be suspicious of strangers. Hackers and scam artists often attempt to utilize the internet and telephone to swindle money from the elderly. They will ask for very specific information, which they can then use to open accounts or withdraw funds from various financial accounts.

Aside from social security numbers, there are several other important numbers that thieves want to obtain from their victims. Date of birth, zip code, and home phone number can be combined with other data to access credit reports and other personal information. Passport identification numbers and personal identification numbers for any account are also extremely dangerous in the hands of a thief. Since most people use the same four digit pin number for all their accounts, a scam artist may ask the victim to produce a pin number for bogus reasons and then use the information to access accounts.
Educating Your Aging Loved One

Conversations about finances between adult children and aging parents are often sensitive, but the need for open communication cannot be underestimated. Say it clearly and say it often. No personal information is to be shared over the phone or online.

If finances are only one of a handful of things that your aging parent or loved one may be struggling with, consider help from a professional in-home caregiver. It can be difficult to burden all of the care needs of a loved one without help, and it’s important to know there are services available for support and assistance.

For more information about in-home care for seniors and respite for family caregivers, reach out to Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire at 603-471-3004. Offering hourly and 24 hour care in New Hampshire, we can help you find the best care schedule for your family’s individual needs.