<!–[CDATA[Behold, the genius of the criminal mind. The snake oil salesman is alive and well even today. He’s up to his old ways, and although his motives haven’t changed, his methods have.
Use Knowledge to Arm Yourself Against Senior Fraud
If you’re not familiar with the multitude of ways that scammers target seniors these days, then here’s your primer. Below, we’ll highlight the most common scams so you or a senior loved one can avoid them.
This is an ideal time educate yourself, too. The official start of Summer is right around the corner. With the warmer temperatures also comes a spike in scams.
Read on to find out why.
Summer Scams That Often Target Seniors
Home Repair Scams
Spring and Summer are typically seasons when homeowners turn their thoughts to home repair and yard work.
How convenient, then, when a landscaping service offers to put your yard on “retainer” service. Seems like a small monthly fee, but the problem is they require payment up front. Whether they ever show up after collecting that payment is anybody’s guess, but often the answer is no.
Seniors are also targeted because of their supposed frailty. It gets harder each year to climb a ladder to check on the roof or clean the gutters. Again, how convenient when someone offers home repair for a reasonable rate!
Whether it’s fixing the driveway or patching the roof, beware service providers who try and intimidate seniors into paying more than agreed upon. And some just never show up again after receiving a deposit.
Tip: Go with a known and recommended service. A referral from a trusted friend or contractor is best.
Event Ticket Scams
Outdoor concerts rev up with the warm weather, so it’s only natural that ticket scams do as well. A good way to avoid inadvertently purchasing fake tickets is to stay away from Craigslist or eBay.
Tip: If you’re buying tickets online, stick to the well-known names like Ticketmaster and StubHub.
Vacation Rental Scams
Another reason for the summertime spike in scams is that vacation rentals are also at their peak. Whether you’re the owner or a renter, don’t fall for these common tricks.
Your senses should bristle if you’re a property owner and you receive a deposit check for the wrong amount. It’s an old trick. A scammer will “mistakenly” send a check for too much money. Then, they claim it was a bank accident and ‘could you please return the difference to me?’. Of course, the deposit check was fraudulent. The money that was ‘sent back’ is gone forever.
On the other hand, renters are scammed, too.
Sending deposit checks to fake owners is a common mistake. About $18.5 million is lost every year this way. There’s also the risk of identity theft as the scammer gathers lots of personal information about you from the rental application.
Tip: Be sure and use a credit card, not a wire transfer or a debit card for your deposit on a vacation rental.
If you’re on the road this summer, beware of scams that occur in hotels.
One has to do with those pizza delivery flyers that appear under your door. It’s a nice way to get a quick meal, but it can also be another way to get scammed.
If you call and give a credit card number, there’s a chance you’ll see more than just a pizza delivery on your next bill.
Tip: If you’re hungry for pizza delivery, ask the front desk for a referral and phone number.
Stay Aware All Year Long
Summertime may be the peak season for scams against seniors, but these crimes happen all year long. Stay informed and stay safe — and let Five Star Senior Living help you. We have all kinds of resources for seniors and their loved ones. It’s part of the Five Star Difference. Read more here!