The holidays are supposed to be a cheerful time. However, all that holiday cheer can quickly dissipate if your aging relative is taken in by a scam. Unfortunately, scams are even more common around the holidays because scammers attempt to take advantage of charitable attitudes and good spirits.
One of the best ways for family caregivers to help their aging relatives to avoid holiday scams is to talk to them about scams. Making seniors aware of common holiday scams, like the ones described below, can help them to respond appropriately and avoid being taken in.
False Emails and Websites
A popular holiday scam is the creation of fake websites and emails that look like those of legitimate, well-known businesses. Many stores send promotional emails at the holidays advertising sales. Scammers take advantage of this by sending their own messages that mimic those of the real business but containing links that lead to fake websites where they can gather personal information, including account numbers.
To avoid this kind of scam, caregivers should remind seniors to carefully inspect emails for telltale signs of a scam, such as misspellings and grammatical errors. Hovering the mouse pointer over the links in the email will reveal where the link leads, so the older adult can see if it goes to the business’s real website. Another way to spot a scam email is by looking at the address it comes from. If it doesn’t come from the business’s proprietary website, caregivers should instruct older adults to delete it.
Gift Cards That Have Been Tampered With
It may be convenient for seniors to pick up gift cards for grandchildren and other family members all in one place, like a display in a grocery store. However, it may be best to avoid them. Scammers sometimes tamper with the gift cards, making them unusable by the person who bought them. Family caregivers can assist with avoiding this scam by driving the senior to the specific retailer for the gift card they wish to purchase.
Many people give to charities as part of their holiday tradition. Scammers use the generosity of people during the holiday season to get them to give money to fake charities. Caregivers whose aging relatives typically give to charities around the holidays should assist them with avoiding fake charities by advising them to avoid giving over the phone or through emails they receive. Instead, help them to decide on a charity they want to give to. Verify that the charity is legitimate by researching it on the website give.org. Then, help the senior to send a check to the correct address or give online by navigating to the charity’s website and verifying that the address begins with “https,” indicating it is secure.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Pasadena, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Help. Serving All of Los Angeles County. Call Us Today (888) 989-7388