The elderly are prime targets for scammers, as they are more likely to be less technologically savvy, more trusting, more easily confused, and sometimes even cognitively impaired. Robocalls, where thousands of numbers can be autodialed at the same time, have become an effective way for scammers to reach a large number of potential targets. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a robocall, don’t hesitate to call Markoff Leinberger in Chicago at 1-888-517-9115.
Here are some tips to help protect your elderly loved ones from robocalls.
1. Never Give Out Personal Information Over the Phone
The main things robocall scammers are after are personal identity information and credit card numbers. The scams themselves can take a variety of shapes, but they all have the same warning signs:
- They ask for identifying information such as social security number and home address
- They create a false sense of urgency to get you to give out your credit card information
- They don’t have a way for you to contact them – no physical address, no phone number
Some scammers will ask outright for information, while others will ask for you to “verify” information. In either case, you should warn any elderly relatives to never give out their information over the phone.
2. Don’t Answer Unknown Numbers
A robocall will appear on caller ID as “unknown” or “spoofed”. The best way to avoid being scammed is not to pick up the phone in the first place if the number is unknown. If you do pick up and hear a recording, hang up immediately without interacting at all with the call, including pressing any numbers to try to speak with a representative or take yourself off the list.
Other ways to avoid unknown numbers include setting up an “anonymous call rejection” service through your phone company or buying a call blocking device.
3. Stay Informed
It seems like every other month there’s a new robocall scam targeting the elderly. While it’s not always possible to keep abreast of every scam going around, following the advice outlined above and making sure to keep elderly relatives informed of the warning signs are good preventative measures. Keep in touch with parents and grandparents and know what’s going on in their lives, and have a conversation about scams rather than a lecture. Unwanted robocalls received by your loved one may be in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Stop Unwanted Robocalls
If you or your loved one is being harassed by robocalls, it may be time to contact a lawyer to put a stop to it. Here at Merkoff Leinberger, we’re experienced consumer law attorneys, and we can help you hold robocallers accountable. Give us a call at 1-888-517-9115 to schedule your free consultation today.