Fighting Senior Fraud with Always Best Care
Today’s post reviews AARP guidelines on senior fraud prevention and explains how to implement these steps with Always Best Care.
The State of Senior Fraud in North Texas
Senior fraud is more of a threat than ever before for older adults living in North Texas.
Here’s how it went down:
Scam telemarketers reached out to seniors offering “free” orthopedic braces. Beneficiaries who expressed interest would be patched through to call centers involved in the scheme. This “international telemarketing network” included call centers in the Philippines and throughout Latin America. The call centers would then verify seniors’ Medicare coverage and transfer them to telemedicine companies for consultations with telemedicine doctors, who negligently wrote prescriptions whether or not they were needed.
Then, the call centers would collect prescriptions and sell them to medical equipment companies, which would ship the braces to beneficiaries and bill Medicare. Medical equipment companies would get $500 to $900 per brace from Medicare and would pay kickbacks of nearly $300 per brace!
This huge, complex scam involved multiple parties–doctors, telemarketers, medical equipment companies, and even Medicare agents–some of whom did not even know they were implicated in a scam.
How are seniors supposed to fight back against sophisticated, multi-part machinations like these? Always Best Care has the answer!
Implementing Fraud Prevention Best Practices with Senior Care
The AARP recommends the following best practices for fraud prevention:
- Secure your paperwork. Most fraud prevention experts recommend opting for electronic statements where possible, since thieves may attempt to steal bank account statements, bills, and other documents from your loved one’s home mailbox. It’s also a good idea to use a shredder when discarding important documents.Always Best Care can help. Our senior care workers can organize documents, clean out your desk, purchase security products (safes, locked briefcases, etc), retrieve the mail, safely dispose of sensitive paperwork, and help you track all correspondence.
- Keep your personal information safe. Avoid entering sweepstakes and stop giving out personal information. Some businesses, such as banks and government agencies, may legitimately need your personal information to complete account set-ups and services, but these are few and far between. Even innocuous personal information like your email address can be turned against you.Keeping your personal information safe is easy with Always Best Care. Having a support worker on-hand at all times to advocate for you and step in when personal info inquiries go too far is a huge boon in the fight against fraud. Our caretakers can also hold onto your personal information when out in public to prevent these sensitive materials being lost, misplaced, or stolen.
- Watch out for scam calls. Consider adding your name to the Do Not Call Registry. Screen calls from numbers you don’t recognize and always be prepared to hang up if the situation feels suspicious.If you wish, senior care workers can be instructed to answer the phone to screen any unwanted callers. We can also answer the door and assist with hosting social events, thereby putting an additional buffer between your loved one and any potential con artists.
- Protect yourself online. Be wary of public Wi-Fi, which scammers may tap into to access your information. Watch what you share on social media–scammers can capture plenty of personal details by spending a few minutes on “Public” Facebook pages, for instance–and opt for high privacy settings when possible. Also turn off Location settings when possible, as these often alert the world when you’re away from your home.Your senior care service may include TV and internet/computer monitoring. Quite simply, we can oversee your loved one’s online activities to ensure that they are not exposing themselves to undue risk.
- Stay up to date on the latest scams. Make use of the AARP’s Fraud Watch Network to stay apprised of current scam tactics and keep one step ahead of con artists.In addition to being familiar with some common scams themselves, Always Best Care workers can help your loved one access the Fraud Watch Network, news, and other media coverage of major cons. Knowledge is power, and your loved one’s declining independence doesn’t mean they shouldn’t access it!
Book a Free Consultation with Always Best Care
Always Best Care Southlake & Denton proudly serves Southlake, Denton, Flower Mound, Grapevine, and surrounding areas in North Texas.
Explore our comprehensive senior care services or browse North Texas care resources on our website, or call 940-241-2273 to book your FREE consultation online today. There is never any commitment to buy or cost involved in this consultation–we just want to explain how we can help!