December 18, 2019
Every day, older adults receive scam calls. Some are easy to ignore. If you see a call from an international number and have no family overseas, you know it’s a scam. Others aren’t ask easy. Some show up as local calls, often from businesses or people you know.
Talk to your mom about spoofed calls. Explain to her how the calls reach her and why they look like local calls. If she understands how they work, she’s less likely to fall for them.
How Scammers Make a Spoofed Call
There is software you can get online or over app stores that allows you to input any number you choose. It could be the number to a fire station across the globe. The number is entered into the software right before making a call. When the call is placed, the software hides the real number from the caller ID and replaces it with the number you entered.
Scammers use this software to increase the chances of getting someone to answer. If your mom gets a call from her next-door neighbor, she’s more likely to answer the phone. Scammers can use spoofing software to make it look like the police, IRS, or area grocery store is calling.
Laws allow caller ID spoofing unless it’s being used to defraud someone. If caught, the caller can be fined $10,000 per violation. Your mom needs to report any spoofing call she receives.
How to Deal With Spoofed Calls
Once she understands how spoofed calls work, she needs to know that it’s best to avoid answering the phone. She could set up a system with her friends and family members that they will text before they call and vice versa. Or, she could say to let it ring three times, hang up, and then redial.
By coming up with a system that allows her to know the caller is likely legit, she can avoid many scam calls. If one gets through anyway, make sure she knows not to say a word and hang up.
Is your mom likely to answer the phone just to have someone to talk to? There’s a solution to this. Senior care services set your mom up with a caregiver as often as you request. Have a caregiver come each week to spend time with her. She won’t be lonely. A senior care agency can help you create the best schedule and care plan.