Before I continue this blog on Dementia, I would like to bring a scam to your attention. While at a Senior Center today, a woman told me that a man came to her door stating that he was from the water company and needed access into her home to shut off the water due to a main break. Luckily, her son was home who told the man that he would do it himself and the man outside quickly left. However, there was no water main break and it was a SCAM! Please do not just open your door to anyone! If someone calls you or comes to your home to state they need access to your water, heat, or electric, etc., please tell them that you need to verify it with the company. Hang up and call the company that services your water or electric. Verify with their office if they called or were sending someone to your home. If they are at the door, talk through the door, do not open it. If the person calling or at your door is legitimate, they will not mind waiting while you verify. Unfortunately our senior citizens are targeted daily for scams. They are most targeted because they are usually at home, they are polite and are trustworthy, and many have nest eggs that scam artists desire to take! They are also less likely to say no and depending on their state of mind, are more easily distracted, swayed and confused.
Most likely too if they become a victim to a scam or fraud, they are less likely to report it simply because they do not know who to report it to. They are often reluctant to tell family members about it because they fear that their susceptibility to fraud puts them in a vulnerable spot regarding their ability to live independently. If friends and family begin to see them as a victim, they worry that a direct line may be drawn to their mental fitness – or lack thereof. So they keep quiet.
If you think you have been scammed, please report it to your local Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission at: (877) 382-4357. These agencies track scams and help victims. By reporting it, you can possibly prevent it from happening to someone else.