Have you noticed the phone ringing off the hook at your mother or father’s home? Most of the time the number is an 800 caller or unknown. In fact, at this stage of your parent’s life, there are very few people who call them on the phone other than you. So who are all these callers? Providers of at home care for seniors tell us that the majority of these calls are scammers hoping to gain identity information from your mother or father.
Identity theft scammers appear in some different ways. Some of these individuals are bold enough to come up to your mother or father’s front door. Providers of at home care for seniors suggest that your loved one should not answer the door if they do not know the person on the other side of it. Not everyone who comes to the door uninvited is a scammer, but your parent should not take a chance. Identity thieves are known to overtake seniors at their front doors and ransack their homes, gathering up personal information and stealing items of value. Not only could your parent be hurt or worse, the scammer will have obtained personal information about your loved one and will begin to empty bank accounts and use credit cards, while family members are unaware.
Phone thieves are subtle and may state or imply that they are calling from the IRS in order to scare your mom or dad into paying out money over the phone. Providers of at home care for seniors recommend teaching your parent that the IRS never calls to demand money and no information, personal or otherwise, should be shared over the phone. If the IRS needs information they will contact your parent via the United States Postal Service, and will provide your parent with instructions and a deadline; nothing is immediately due that day. It is important that if your parent is getting calls like this on a regular basis, they report this to you so you may either change their phone number or find a care provider to help them with these annoying scammers.
The bottom line is that your parent’s personal information is not to be compromised with the wrong people.