As senior crimes continue to rise, a Bend business owner has created a kit to help seniors and family members prevent things like Identity Theft and other widespread scams. Some of the popular scams include fake bills from "Medicare" or "Medicaid", and calls from a so-called relative, usually a grandchild, who says they are in trouble and need money wired to them. Identity Theft continues to also dominate in all age groups, but seniors are especially vulernatble.
Todd Sensenbach with Home Instead Senior Care in Bend says sometimes a senior will get ripped off once and then they get on a list that opens the door to a flood of other criminals.
He says another problem is that some victims feel too embarassed and violated so they don't report the theft or abuse.
"IT'S HARD FOR THEM TO EVEN ADMIT THAT SOMETHINGS HAPPENED TO THEM- THEY'RE EMBARASSED-- BUT IF THEY DON'T REPORT IT THEN SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO GET SCAMMED FROM THE SAME SCAM.
The prevention kit includes a checklist of what to do and who to contact. It even has a test to see how vulnerable a person may be to theft. Its something that Home Instead Senior Care put together sp it include local resources.
Sensenbach says they wanted to do something helpful because he hates seeing people spend their life saving up a nestegg and then in a very short amount of time have someone steal their money. And besides the financial impact, there's the emotional component too.
"THEY FEEL LIKE THEY ARE coMPLETELY TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF - THEY WERE VIOLATED AND THEY DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY WANT TO BRING THIS OUT- AND THAT EMOTIONAL IMPACT- FEELING VIOLATED- MAKES IT ACTUALLY hard to GO THROUGH THE LIST- CALL THE POLICE- GET A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT- CLOSE ANY ACCOUNTS THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED.
You can call Home Instead Senior Care to get a free kit.