BBB Tips: Caring for our Elderly Loved Ones

June 16, 2014

For most of us, our parents have looked after us for a great part of our lives in direct or even indirect ways that we may take for granted. There may come a time when we need to return the favor. Just because our parents may be independent enough to live alone and without assistance does not mean that we are not needed in their lives. Many seniors getting up in age fall prey to con artists because of the lack of family support.

There are some signs that you can look for that may be strong indicators that they are victims of a scam, some things that may not be so obvious unless you know what to look for.

  1. Junk mail, it may not seem like a big deal, but there may be more to it than meets the eye. If your loved one is playing lottery sweepstakes frequently, that may be something to be concerned with. There are lots of scam sweepstakes out there. Things to watch out for are ones that are from foreign countries or even in the United States that ask for money upfront, bank account information, credit card numbers or one’s social security number. A good practice to get off of junk mail lists is to contact the Direct Marketing Association online at or by mail at DMA, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 105122.
  2. If you happen to notice that your loved one is writing a lot of checks or withdrawing a lot of money, this may be a strong warning sign. Ask if they are in any kind of financial trouble. Sweepstakes con artists often will come up with one reason right after another as to why a person should keep sending money, and individuals may fall for this out of naivety or coercion.
  3. Should your loved one be guarded about phone calls made or received, try and find out why. The discreetness may be a sign of a larger problem. Many times, con artists will tell their victims not to tell anyone about them and that there may be negative consequences if they do.
  4. If having trouble paying bills or buying food, please find out why. You may never know a problem exists unless you ask. Certainly, you may never know that there is a problem, unless you think to look for one, as the situation may be.

For more information on scams, visit our #ScamSource online and call us if you have any questions or concerns.