Many people reach a point in life when they have to start caring for their parents. Once your parents reach a certain age, you may have to help take care of them daily or assist them with things they once could do for themselves. Part of this is also looking out for them and keeping them safe. The elderly population is a target for scammers of all types in California. They play on the elderly’s lack of awareness of scams and trust to take money from them and use them. Anyone’s parents are at risk of becoming a victim.
AARP offers some advice to help you keep your parents safe from scammers. There are several key things you can do to protect them, starting with explaining scams to them.
If your parents receive something linked to a scam, explain to them how you could tell it was a scam. Teaching your parents to recognize a scam may prevent this from happening in the future.
You should treat your parents with respect and make sure not to make them feel bad for falling victim. If a scammer does get through, make sure that you offer support. Let your parents take the lead and talk about things when they are ready. Your parents are likely already feeling bad, so be supportive.
You can be proactive by helping your parents keep their information secret. Have them get an unlisted phone number and urge them not to give it out to anyone they do not personally know. Also, make sure your parents know to never give out account numbers over the phone or through the mail. If possible, set up automatic payments for bills or at least assist with bill paying so you can help your parents keep financial information safe.