Laura Barish came on the show to talk with us about preventing financial elder abuse.
Laura is President and CEO of AltaGolden. She has a passion for working with older adults and loves her job. Laura is responsible for marketing, community outreach, corporate management, and she also sometimes works as a caregiver so that she understands what it takes to be a great caregiver. Laura is on the clinical affairs committee for the San Diego Dementia Consortium.
In our discussion, Laura and I talk about some of the scams that are out there including:
- Email invoked abuse and Microsoft Outlook worms
- Western Union Fraud: Someone calls and says, “Your grandson was taken to jail in Mexico. We need you to wire money for attorneys fees”. The scammers like to play on heartstrings.
- IRS Scam is where someone will call telling you that you are in default on your taxes. The IRS will never call or email anyone. They will only send a letter.
- YES Scam is when someone will call and pretend to have a bad connection saying “can you hear me now?” Their objective is to get you to say “YES” so they have your voice on recording and they can use your recorded voice to purchase things.
Anyone can order a mailing list. There is a lot of demographic information in these mailing lists. This includes; address information, age groups, and even reported income levels. Sometimes the phone scammers are not just randomly dialing people. They are targeting you for a specific reason.
We also talked about the recent Microsoft scams. This is where your computer gets locked up or you get a pop up on your screen indicating your drivers are not up to date. The scammers essentially hold your computer ransom until you pay money to get it unlocked.
Steps for preventing financial elder abuse
Don’t go to websites you don’t know
Don’t open an attachment or links in an email from anyone you don’t know.
If a scammer calls you, the easiest and safest thing is to hang up.
Educate your loved ones about the Scams that are out there so they are aware of them and they know what to look out for.
Make sure your computer virus software us up to date at all times
If you have a private caregiver, make sure they are aware of these scams as well. Laura also tells us that if you use a private caregiver don’t give them the “keys to the kingdom”. Make sure you have systems in place to ensure the caregiver cannot take advantage of your loved one
If you have questions, ask! It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help or guidance.
Contact information for Laura: Phone: 858-779-9254 or website: www.altagolden.com
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