One of the fastest growing crimes are financial scams perpetrated against senior citizens. Many elderly citizens become targets for these types of crimes because they can be more easily confused in some cases, while in others it is a more trusting nature, and a failure to keep up with the ways that scammers find to victimize people.
For caregivers, and family alike, there is a shared responsibility to protect the elderly from scams and con jobs. Home care workers, and family members should pay close attention to transactions posted to bank accounts, and credit cards of the elderly. Home care providers are often in the best position to catch people attempting to pull off scams on the elderly. Their proximity to the potential victim makes a caregiver a good first line of defense against these scams.
Educating the elderly on the nature of some of these scams can help reduce their vulnerability. If the client is often on the internet, or frequently makes purchases online, it is wise to check to see if the website encrypts the data being sent. This is usually easy to spot, as a small lock will appear either near the top search bar, or in the lower right corner of the screen. This lock, usually gold in color, denotes that the site uses data encryption to protect user information.
Make sure that the client understands the dangers associated with giving out personal information to people on the phone. No reputable financial, or charitable institution will ask someone to confirm account numbers over the phone. Most of these establishments will also have some kind of literature which can be sent through the mail, this means that most charities will avoid telephone solicitation.
If they feel they have been the victim of a scam let the senior know how important it is to report the activity, and help them in any way possible. This can help protect not only the client, but people everywhere.
As a home care provider the responsibility is part of the job. When working as a caregiver someone is watching out for more than just a clients health. They must help their client avoid anything that may have a negative impact on their lifestyle.