Seniors are an extremely vulnerable demographic, especially during the holiday season. Not only are aging adults more trusting than their younger counterparts, but many struggle with cognitive decline and most have a lesser understanding of the latest tools and technology that are being used to perpetrate crimes. It is vital to note that scams targeting the elderly peak during the holiday season given that more elderly people are looking to shop, save money, and ensure the comfort and health of their loved ones. Following are three common holiday scams along with tips that seniors and their Toronto caregivers can use to avoid them.
1. Phone Calls from Relatives
It is not uncommon for seniors to get phone calls from people pretending to be relatives in dire straits. When aging adults receive phone requests from grandchildren, nieces, nephews or other relatives for emergency cash, they can never be too sure that they are actually speaking to members of their own family. Before wiring money or making any financial decisions, it is vital for seniors to talk with close relatives and verify the identities of these callers.
2. Charitable Organizations
Sadly, there are a number of unethical people who have taken to posing as some of the best-known charities. They often use similar names for their organizations and may even have email addresses that look strikingly similar to those of actual companies. Much like phone calls from relatives in need cash, efforts to obtain charitable donations are often made with a strong sense of urgency. Elderly people should avoid sharing their credit card information with charities over the phone or via email and should always take the time to authenticate the legitimacy of these organizations before donating.
3. Reverse Mortgages
The holiday season can create a tremendous amount of financial stress. Scammers know this and make every effort to capitalize on the inherent vulnerability of seniors during this time of year. Seniors who are looking for extra holiday cash may be pursued by unethical parties posing as legitimate financial institutions. While reverse mortgage scams are among the most complicated schemes out there, they also provide the highest returns. Seniors should be encouraged to avoid being rushed into any commitments that might impact the ownership of their homes. It is additionally important to note that even legitimate reverse mortgage offers require careful inspection. Before considering any of these funding products, seniors should first talk with a lawyer or a reputable financial advisor.
Keeping your senior loved one safe extends beyond the holiday season. To learn more about promoting senior wellbeing all year long, reach out to Toronto Home Care Assistance. As a leading provider of home care Toronto families trust, helping seniors age safely in the comfort of home is our top priority. Give us a call at (416) 488-8777 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with a dedicated Care Manager.