The scams are usually where the caller acts as if he knows the person, addresses them by their first name and may include names of family members.
The common thread to all calls is to gain information such as passwords, credit card numbers, banking account numbers, Medicare, Medicaid, Medical Insurance ID's, social security numbers and income tax information.
The aging person may have cognitive difficulties and memory issues where they are not aware of all the information given to a fraudulent caller. When made aware of the occurrences, we report it to a family member to change the phone number and to check the accounts mentioned to ascertain if there is fraudulent activity. Also, non-emergency lines at local police departments should be alerted to fraudulent activities.
Caregivers in the home need to be aware of this as well as to prevent calls like this and to utilize a system where all phone calls are screened.
Suzanne Hanas, BSN, RN