Saving Elderly Parents in Los Angeles from a Phone Scam

February 11, 2014
Elderly Parents Los Angeles Callback Scam

Warn Your Elderly Parents in Los Angeles About Calling Back Unknown Numbers

Newspapers around the country are warning readers about a new scam targeted toward anyone who uses a telephone. Anyone can be taken in by the scam if they’re not on their toes, but our elderly parents in Los Angeles are more vulnerable, perhaps, than most other people. The success of this scheme depends on the recipient of a phone call being curious and worried that someone is trying to get in touch with them.

How This Scam Works

The deception begins when a computer (usually in a non-U.S. location) makes a call to a random phone number, then hangs up after just one ring. The victim, seeing that they missed a call, calls the number back to see who it was. In most cases, that recall costs the victim about $20.00, plus more money the longer the phone call lasts.

Beating the Scam

Phone safety and etiquette rules of the past aren’t enough to protect against a scam like this. The best way to beat it is to instruct your senior loved ones never to return a call from an unknown number unless the caller leaves a voicemail message identifying themselves and their reason for calling. Failing to leave a message almost always indicates that the call was not important in the first place. Another tip is to program your parent’s phone to recognize the numbers of family members, doctors, eldercare in Los Angeles, and anyone else who would have legitimate reason to contact them.

Eldercare in Los Angeles Tries to Keep Up with Scams

It is difficult to keep up with the latest schemes dreamed up by criminals to nickel-and-dime vulnerable seniors. Careful phone, mail, and front-door policies help, but a senior sometimes gets confused and opens the door to theft. Having a caregiver personally present is a great way to protect a senior living at home from financial and other types of abuse.

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