The FCC put out a warning about Medicare scams, one of the many robocall and email scams that prey on the elderly. While it is hard to believe that people could be vile enough to try to scam this vulnerable population, unfortunately it is a major issue that can con your loved ones out of significant money and/or lead to identity theft.
The most important thing to know in relation to this latest scam is that Medicare will never call someone and ask for their private information without having sent a letter first. But as we know, sometimes those who are aging can become confused and even when they are prepped with this information, in the moment can still be vulnerable.
At Future File, we know the importance of having information and wishes gathered and accessible by loved ones, particularly for those with aging family members. We suggest putting together a wishes and planning system like our Future File legacy planning system for your own aging family members as a first step. This will gather all the critical information you need, like Social Security information, Medicare and other insurance information, financial account information and more, all in one place.
As a second step, make one family member responsible for regularly checking on your elderly loved ones’ key accounts. For example, my father-in-law is in his late 80s, and sometimes has problems with paying bills; he pays some twice and forgets to pay others altogether. We used Future File to gather his information and every Sunday afternoon, my husband reviews key accounts to make sure that bills are getting paid and that there aren’t any bad actors taking advantage of my father-in-law.
You can also make sure that you are subscribed, with your loved one’s permission or via a power of attorney if they are mentally incapacitated, to a service that checks to make sure that their identity hasn’t been stolen.
Finally, hold a family meeting at least twice a year to update the information in their legacy and wishes planning system and to provide any warnings to your loved ones that may come about from scams like the Medicare scam the FCC warned about, or just to check in to make sure that others they are interacting with, from caregivers to service providers, aren’t taking advantage of them.
It is not an easy task to provide care and support for our aging loved ones, but having information where you can routinely check on them certainly makes it a lot easier.