Many seniors have found themselves on the receiving end of a door-to-door scam. Salesmen come to the elderly homeowner’s door, offer them a better security system deal than they currently have, and offer to either get them out of their current contract or say they’ve taken over for the current company.
After hearing the salesperson’s pitch, the seniors sign the new contract. The problem is, the new company lies. They are not replacing the other company, and they don’t have the power to cancel the original security contract. Suddenly, the homeowner has two companies providing security services and has to pay them both. Does this sound like something your mom would fall for?
Keeping Your Mom Safe
Talk to your mom about the common scams, less common ones, and ways to avoid being scammed. Make sure she knows that she should never sign up for a service or program without you having looked over the paperwork to verify it is a valid offer or company. Tell her to get everything in writing while asking the salesperson to give her a few days to go over the paperwork.
Teach your mom that she should never sign papers without asking for a second opinion. She also should never give out her personal information like date of birth, SSN, or bank account numbers. She needs to make it a habit to run offers by you first.
While these don’t always work effectively, some salespeople will avoid homes where there are cameras at the entry or signs saying solicitations are not allowed. If they come to the door, your mom can point out the signs and ask them to leave.
Reporting a Scam
Any scam attempt or success should be reported to the local police. Offer as much detail as possible, including the make/model of the car of the salesperson, license plate if possible, company name, business card, etc. You or your mom should also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission using the online complaint form.
If your mom is likely to answer the door, she could be a target. To prevent her from being scammed, it can help to have someone helping her with household responsibilities throughout the day. Elderly care services cover everything from companionship to laundry. If your mom has someone to talk to, she’s less likely to take time listening to a door-to-door salesperson. Call an elderly care agency to learn more about the range of services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Dulles, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.
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