Scammers attempt to steal personal information and money over the phone and through other devices at a growing rate. As phones are often kept within short reach, the tendency to grasp for these devices when a call comes through is almost immediate. Perhaps the phone rings and the voice on the other end claims to be a relative, such as a grandchild, or even a great-grandchild. They then explain that they are in distress and are in desperate need of money. They may share that any given funds will be used to pay off some debt, to help after an accident or even to post bail. Believing this to be true and wanting to help a loved one, one may find themselves wiring away their hard-earned money to a scammer in disguise.
Unfortunately, this exact scenario plays out all too often, and much to the misfortune of the receiver of the call. Scammers are everywhere and can target anyone, taking advantage of those who put their trust in what they are hearing through the phone. The scam artist may even go as far as claiming to be calling on behalf of a government agency such as the IRS, stating that money is owed immediately to avoid consequence. In a panic, individuals find themselves hurriedly reaching for a credit card, reading the numbers aloud just to ward off threats of debt collectors and even arrest. Other tactics include convincing the individual to buy gift cards to pay off the debt. Some scammers call claiming to be from a tech support team who noticed a virus or error on the individuals account. They then ask to log in, where personal information is easily accessible. Ploys such as these are shameful, and they are also lucrative enough for these scammers to accumulate a substantial amount of money from their victims.
Scammers know what to say to ignite anxiety, whether it’s a loved one in distress or a claim that money is owed to a government agency. Some individuals are more at risk of falling prey to a scam. Those suffering from memory loss, Alzheimer’s or dementia may not remember if they forgot to pay a debt or that they even have a relative with the name the scammer provides. Some scammers will call simply to get your information by pretending to be from a medical or life insurance agency. They may even look online to see if you have a social media account and skim through names of people you know, only to use that name when they call asking for cash. Those with memory loss are likely to be easy prey, especially if they are living alone without anyone to look into the validity of the call.
Our Aqua Home Care team members take seriously the financial risk involved with falling for such scams, and we feel everyone should be privy to the tactics scammers use to acquire money. For further protection of those needing daily living support, a trusted caregiver can help intercept suspicious calls to prevent those in their care from becoming a victim. Sometimes, a simple phone call to the mentioned relative can clear up any confusion. Other claims can be deciphered by being aware of such scams and knowing how to identify a suspicious caller. For those receiving in-home care services, a sense of security can be felt not only from having a trusted professional nearby, but also from knowing someone is there to offer extra protection from those who can take so much from a simple phone call.