Tragically, there are people out there who prey on older people with any number of financial scams. At Mount Vernon Towers, we take precautions to protect our residents from criminals. Access to our buildings is controlled, and we screen people who come to provide services.
But we can’t control people who mail, call, or reach out to residents over the internet. So we try to make sure Mount Vernon residents know how to protect themselves against scams targeted older people.
Scams targeting the elderly can include:
1. Medicare/health insurance
2. Investment schemes
3. Prescription drugs
4. Funerals and cemeteries
5. Family emergencies
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your friends against people trying to take your money:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful of offers that just don’t sound right. Before you pay for something, verify the source.
- Watch for the “grandchild in trouble” ploy. A frequent scam is when someone pretending to be a grandchild calls or texts that he or she’s in trouble and needs money immediately for bail or car repair or some other emergency. The story is this—”I don’t want my parents to know, so can I count on you to help?” So they ask you to keep it confidential. That’s what the scammer wants. Don’t fall for it.
- If someone suggests that you pay for something with gift cards—that’s a big red flag. You can redeem gift cards without ID or questioning, so it’s a favorite way for scam artists to ask for payment. If someone wants this, stop immediately.
- If someone says they have a big sum of money they want to share, and all you need to do is send a couple of small payments to secure the funds, that’s ALWAYS a scam. Don’t fall for it.
- Verify all charities before you contribute. It’s best to make any contributions directly to charities you like to support directly to the charity, rather than a third party.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, tell someone. There are people who can help. Contact our staff at Mount Vernon Towers. Protecting our residents is our top priority.