November 4th, 2016
If you have an elderly parent, you’ve probably heard about all the ways they can be “scammed” out of their money. Pyramid schemes, investment scams, phone calls that threaten action if cash isn’t wired to pay overdue taxes. But did you know that your loved ones can also be scammed by volunteer caregivers?
It’s true. Caregiver scams have become more prevalent in recent years. “Volunteer Caregivers,” so named because they befriend and volunteer their services to random seniors, often fly under the radar when families don’t notice that the caregiver has moved into their mom or dad’s home. By then it can be too late, because if the caregiver has criminal intent, they can end up bilking a senior out of money and belongings, amass huge credit card debts, and even gain power of attorney.
Here are the danger signs to look for if you fear your loved one might become the victim of a Volunteer/Non-Agency Caregiver scam:
*A caregiver who shows unwillingness to meet face-to-face with family members
*Excessively-high hourly rates
*Unexpected credit card charges or bank withdrawals, or unexplained checks
If you still think that hiring an aide on your own is better than going through an agency, be sure to inquire about the aide’s background, ask for references, and pay a reputable firm to do a criminal background check. Your loved one’s safety and well-being could be at stake.