October 29, 2021
That’s a load of scam and telemarketing calls in just six months. Many scammers time their calls when they’re more likely to catch an older adult off-guard. That can mean calling first thing in the morning when they could be waking the senior up. Or, it could lead to a phone call right as someone is winding down and getting into bed. Laws are supposed to prevent calls from coming in between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. But, that doesn’t always stop scammers from calling outside of those hours. Take steps to keep your parents safe such as hiring a home care services provider.
Depending on your parents’ phone provider, there may be options to block all calls from unknown callers, specific phone numbers, and other criteria. Use this technology to keep telemarketers and robocalls from getting through.
If possible, see if you can set a different ring for calls from certain numbers. If the phone rings and it’s a family member, doctor, bank, friend, or dentist, set a ring tone that your parents can quickly identify as being a legitimate caller. Other calls go to voicemail for your parents to determine if they need to call back.
Make sure you keep your parents updated on the latest scams. Teach them how scammers try to fool people by researching family histories online and social media to make a grandparent scam more convincing. Talk to them about COVID-19 scams, identity theft scams, and other prevalent scams.
Teach your parents that it’s best to hang up and call the agency or person that the scammer was claiming to be. If a caller claims to be an account representative with your parents’ credit card company, they can hang up and call the toll-free number on the back of their card to find out if the call was legitimate.
When your parents get a scam call, they need to report it. Even if they’re not scammed, the more complaints the government gets, the easier it is for authorities to investigate and shut down calls from that number.
If your parents have health issues like dementia that may increase the risk of them falling for a scam, make sure they’re never alone. They shouldn’t be answering the phone on their own.
One of the best ways to end phone scams is by making sure your mom and dad aren’t always alone. They may be less likely to spend time talking to a stranger on the phone if they have company. Arrange 24-hour home care services to be there in the hours that you’re unable to be around.