Adult children inform their aging parents about recent scams that target the elderly, and many seniors claim that will never happen to them. Unfortunately, it happens to countless seniors each year. Safeguards to protect elderly parents cut down on possible senior-related crimes, but even careful parents could make a mistake. Here are some tips for protecting your senior parents from these heinous perpetrators.
Move Into a Gated and Secure Community
Seniors that live in gated communities don’t have to worry about scam artists getting into the communities. Senior communities are often secured by gates and have security to stop unwelcome guests from getting in. Parents that continue to live in the family home are the perfect target for these criminals, as the perpetrators come right up to the door and knock.
Parents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in advanced stages cannot stay in the family home alone. But, unfortunately, the parents are targeted even if they live with a loved one or have an at-home nurse. Staying in a community that offers services such as memory care in Encinitas, CA improves cognitive function and keeps seniors safer.
Give a Family Member a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives an adult child the right to manage their parent’s finances and assets. The parent can impose stipulations that limit how their children use certain assets, but it’s a beneficial method of protecting elderly parents.
Instead of the parent paying their own bills, their loved ones coordinate payments and reconcile all bank accounts. If the information isn’t freely available, the parent cannot give these details to a criminal in a state of panic.
Block Unknown Calls
Smartphones have helpful features that block calls from any party that isn’t in the parent’s contact list. The blocking features stop robocalls and scam calls from reaching the senior. If these criminals cannot get through, they can’t steal information from the parent, and no one loses money or becomes a victim of identity theft.
Stay Educated About New Scams
News reports are online and on television to educate the elderly about recent scams that target seniors. Moving into a senior living community helps an aging parent make new friends, and they can keep each other informed about new scams that haven’t been widely reported yet. There are also social media groups that post details each time a new scam is discovered. It’s a team effort to keep each other safe.
Block All Harmful Websites on Their Computer
Seniors are online more these days than ever before, but many aren’t as internet savvy as their kids. Each operating system offers safety features to block harmful websites beyond the antivirus software’s protection. Changing these settings prevents the parent from navigating to dangerous websites where criminals collect user data that’s used to victimize site visitors.
To stop the parent from changing these settings, the loved ones set up an administrator account on the computer. A password-protected administrator account stops the elderly parent from placing themselves in harm’s way.
Direct Deposits for Retirement and Social Security Benefits
Setting up direct deposits for retirement funds and Social Security benefits sends all money directly to the parent’s bank account. Scam artists are known to steal benefit checks from mailboxes directly.
In a senior community, the mailboxes are locked and require the resident’s key to access the mail, which stops the criminals from getting bank statements. Paperless statements are another way to cut down on how much mail is delivered to the parent, so going paperless is another strategy to stop perpetrators from getting confidential information.
Set Up Alerts for All Transactions
Bank apps offer identity theft protection for seniors, and the services offer alerts when transactions are completed. The parent reviews these notifications and sees if there was a purchase they didn’t make.
Many adult children set up these alerts to go to their own phones if they are managing their parent’s finances. The delivery of the alerts is also available through email if that makes the parent feel more secure, and their power of attorney gets the same alerts in their own inbox. Any suspicious activities are reported to the account holder, and the bank may suspend debit cards to prevent unauthorized use of the accounts.
Safer Homes for All Seniors
At Summer field of Encinitas, we strive to protect all residents from scammers and offer terrific amenities that improve their safety. Our community stops unwanted guests from disturbing our residents and making them victims of identity theft. Want to protect your aging parent? Tour our community to see what security measures we follow.