How to Help Seniors Avoid Scams and Fraudsters

Updated 8/7/15 9:25am | Growing older has many unavoidable downsides, but one unfortunate consequence is something Alert1 wants to help seniors avoid:  the number of scammers and fraudsters who prey on older adults. In fact, statistics from the National Crime Prevention Council suggest that con-artists direct as much as 80 percent of their activity toward our parents and grandparents! In many cases, these criminals will circle back and target their victims multiple times as these seniors are easy to deceive. Being on the “sucker list” can be taxing both financially and emotionally. Alert1 wants to help seniors everywhere understand how these fraudsters work, to effectively stop their criminal activity once and for all. 

Seniors are prime targets for several reasons. First, seniors accrue a lifetime of funds and often have more disposable income than younger adults.   Second, many of them are unsure about new technologies such as the Internet or cell phones, so they can be more easily persuaded of fake ‘issues’ with these communication systems. They are also a big target:  there are around 41.4 million seniors in the US right now.One of the worst things about these fraudsters is that many operate under the guise of selling potentially useful products, such as senior medical alert systems or home security systems, both of which can be crucial to senior safety and wellbeing.


phone scam. alert1 medical alert systems

You may also want to be on the lookout for fraudsters offering medical alert systems for seniors. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission raised the alarm for one scam using elderly alert devices as a guise to rip seniors off. The con works like this: A company posing as a medical alert company for seniors calls and offers the device free of charge. They’ll trick seniors by saying that a loved one or a close friend paid for the system charges—all that’s left to pay is the monthly service charges. Regardless of whether or not the senior receives the device, they may soon receive letters and invoices demanding payment and threatening legal action. Some fraudsters even claim they are from reputable medical alarm companies like Alert1 or Life Alert. Caregivers should know that Alert1 is a company seniors can trust and we never make unsolicited calls.


money card. alert1 medical alert systems

Aging loved ones should also be cautious when using the internet or mobile technology. If you’re a senior with a chronic health condition you may not be able to afford all the medications to keep healthy. In these instances, many turn to discounted sources online. You should never fill a prescription online as there may be unknown chemicals or substances in the medications. Also lottery and sweepstakes scams are a plenty online. These quick paydays for seniors tempt thousands of unsuspecting victims, often requiring you to deposit fake checks into your account. The number of online scams targeting seniors grows every year—be sure to check each merchant or source before providing any financial information online.


keyboard protection. alert1 medical alert systems

There are a number of ways you can ensure your loved one does not fall victim to an unscrupulous telemarketer or other scammer. Chiefly, you should talk to your parent or grandparent to warn them about these scammers. Ask your aging loved ones to alert you if they provide any personal information to telemarketers or door-to-door solicitors. If you or your loved one receives this type of call, don’t hesitate to contact the company directly to validate the call. Use the phone number from the company website or on the statement, not the number provided by the caller. When the scammers persist, ask your phone provider to block the incoming calls from that number. Seniors should also file a complaint with the FTC.  


data hack. alert1 medical alert systems

Alert1 wants to know: Have you ever had an encounter with a fraudster? What techniques do you use to keep your loved ones protected?