Elder Fraud: How To Spot It, And How To Avoid It

Elder Fraud: How To Spot It, And How To Avoid It

Be careful. There are a lot of people out there whose business it is to take money away from older people.

We don’t mean to scare you or your families, but we want Mt. Vernon Towers’ residents to be aware that this is something you should watch out for, and take steps to avoid situations that could put you at risk.

Mt. Vernon Towers protects its residents from potential elder fraud in a variety of ways. We, of course, vet every outside vendor who comes into our properties. We also prohibit salespeople and solicitors. And we watch news reports and warn our residents if we hear of any local scams that are targeting older people.

But beyond that, there are a number of things you can do to help protect yourself. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Be award of the scam “patterns.” Many fraudsters use common techniques when trying to pretty on older Americans. These include insurance and prescription fraud, anti-aging products, or unbelievable discounts on products. Because they work so often, if you’re aware of them, you can see a “pattern” that suggests an offer might be dishonest. The National Council on Aging has a list of 10 common scams targeting the elderly. See it here.

  2. Work together. Before buying something, consult with other family members. Let everyone evaluate the offer to see if it’s real and the right thing to do.

  3. Get off of mailing and call lists. You may think you only sign up for one list, but it could be sold to others. Soon, you’re getting tons of mail or phone calls. Request to be removed, and companies have to do it—it’s the law. (Report them if they don’t.)

  4. Shred sensitive documents. This prevents account numbers from falling into the wrong hands.

  5. Keep important documents and all credit/debit cards secure.

If you have concerns about a contact from someone, also let the Mt. Vernon Towers staff know. We’re glad to help.

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