Warn Aging Parents About Vaccine Scams Preying On Their Fears
Wouldn’t you know it? Scumbags are out there trying to steal from our aging parents, right in the midst of the frenzy to get vaccines for those who desperately want them. Thieves see the headlines and news items showing long waits, lack of supply and statistics of deaths from Covid-19 that stoke elders’ fears of catching the virus. The thieves quickly invent new schemes to rip off these seniors.
Here’s what they’re doing now:
They contact elders on their lists and offer ways to “beat the system”. Pay money and we’ll get you a vaccine ahead of everyone else. Pay money and come to this place and you can get it without anyone knowing about it but you. You MUST get a vaccine, we’re from the government and you had better comply. Do it here. Or, pay money and we’ll ensure you a vaccine reservation. Or, give us your personal information and credit card and we’ll give you a reservation. They are relentless.
These are the typical come-ons. And people fall for them every day. Even if you’re not worried because your aging parent doesn’t use the internet, or social media, they are still on the hunt for those who will pick up the phone. Many seniors are in the habit of answering their home phones when they ring without looking at or having caller ID. Even with caller ID, thieves have found ways to “spoof” the ID to make it look like a government office, Medicare or an insurer.
According to a warning put out by the FBI you need to alert anyone, especially your aging parents about these emerging scams. The FBI warning describes numerous theives’ methods, including these:
- “Unsolicited emails, telephone calls, or personal contact from someone claiming to be from a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal and/or medical information to determine recipients’ eligibility to participate in clinical vaccine trials or obtain the vaccine
- Individuals contacting you in person, by phone, or by email to tell you the government or government officials require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine”
What you can do to help ensure that your aging parents don’t fall for schemes to rip them off about vaccines is to check into what your loved ones’ county posts on its website about vaccine availability. If your aging parent has difficulty using the internet or website to sign up for a vaccine appointment, that’s something you can do—make the appointment, be sure they remember and have a way to get there.
Think about the logistics of your loved one getting to a vaccine center and waiting as needed. If you can help, good. If not, someone you know may be able to do so. Ask. Working together in our communities, we can get all our aging loved ones vaccinated without falling for scams.
Advice about how to manage resistance or family conflicts about vaccines is available at AgingParents.com. No one needs to try to keep mom or dad safe at this time in the midst of sibling warfare. Get help today if you are in a stressful mess about your aging parents. We offer you the expertise you need to reduce the burden on you. Call us at 866-962-4464 or click here AgingParents.com
Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R. N, Elder Law Attorney, co-founder of AgingParents.com and AgingInvestor.com