Protecting Seniors: Tips for Avoiding Scams and Fraud

Protecting Seniors: Tips for Avoiding Scams and Fraud

A woman going over tips to avoid scams and frauds with a Heather Glen Senior Living resident.

September 12, 2023

At Heather Glen Senior Living, we take pride in creating a safe and nurturing environment for seniors in the Lehigh Valley, PA area. Part of our commitment to their well-being extends beyond providing comfortable living spaces and top-notch care—it also includes keeping them informed and aware of potential risks, including scams and fraud. In today's digital age, seniors are more vulnerable than ever to various forms of deception and exploitation—but our team is here to help. Read below as share essential information about common types of scams and tips on how seniors can protect themselves, empowering them to live confidently and securely.

Understanding the threats

The first step in protecting yourself or your loved ones is understanding the threats that exist—and unfortunately, seniors are often targeted because scammers perceive them as vulnerable. At Heather Glen Senior Living, we believe knowledge is power, which is why we’re here to provide seniors with the information they need. 

Some of the most common scams that seniors should be aware of are:

Fake charity requests

Scammers often pose as charitable organizations, especially after natural disasters or during the holiday season. They may contact seniors through phone calls, emails or even in person, requesting donations for a cause that may or may not exist. To avoid falling victim to these scams, seniors should always verify the legitimacy of a charity by researching it online or through trusted sources like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau. Refrain from sharing personal or financial information over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from a reputable charity. Instead, consider making donations directly through the charity's official website or mailing a check rather than giving cash or credit card information to solicitors.

Medicare fraud

Scammers know they can target seniors by pretending to be Medicare representatives or providers. They may attempt to steal personal information, bill for services not received or offer fake medical equipment. To protect yourself from Medicare fraud, never share Medicare, Social Security or bank account numbers with unsolicited callers or providers. Review Medicare statements regularly to check for any unfamiliar charges—and always consult a trusted healthcare professional or the official Medicare website for guidance on Medicare-related matters.

Lottery scams

In lottery scams, seniors receive notifications claiming they've won a lottery or prize, but they are required to pay fees or taxes upfront to claim their winnings. To avoid falling for lottery scams, be skeptical of unsolicited communications claiming you've won a prize, especially if you didn't enter any lottery or contest. Remember that legitimate lotteries do not require winners to pay fees upfront to claim their winnings—and don’t hesitate to consult a family member or friend before taking any action, and report such scams to authorities.

Digital dangers

With the rise of technology, online scams have become prevalent. Seniors should be cautious of phishing emails, fraudulent websites and social media scams. Avoid clicking on suspicious links, sharing personal or financial information, and look for spelling or grammatical errors, which are common in digital scams. Ultimately, if something seems peculiar to you or too good to be true—it’s best to trust your gut and seek guidance from trusted family members or friends to avoid the risk.

Heather Glen Senior Living is here to help

Safeguarding the beloved seniors in our community is not just a responsibility, but a heartfelt commitment at Heather Glen Senior Living—and this includes protecting them from scams and fraud. We firmly believe that by empowering seniors with knowledge and awareness, we can help them lead confident and secure lives in an increasingly complex world. While scams and fraudulent activities may pose a threat, the vigilant steps outlined above can help you remain informed and prepared. 

At Heather Glen Senior Living, we make it our mission to provide a secure, compassionate living environment for seniors in the Lehigh Valley, and we’re proud to be a trusted resource for quality senior care. By fostering a culture of support, education and awareness, we aspire to ensure that our seniors can enjoy their golden years with peace of mind and confidence. To learn more about our personal and memory care options, or for any additional questions, give us a call at (610) 841-4478 or fill out our online form today.

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