You don’t want to limit your mom’s independence, but you worry. After months of talking yourself out of taking over her finances, you learn the worst. She’s been the victim of a scammer.
Maybe it was something mild like writing checks to dubious charities, or something more serious like handing her social security number over to aggressive callers who claim to need it for good reason. There are many scams that target seniors and many of their loved ones live in fear of finding out which scam their loved one has been the victim of and how serious the damage is.
Senior Scams Are Serious Business
Senior scams are far too common. After spending their whole lives saving, many seniors have money to lose and scammers know it. The combination of that with how common dementia is amongst seniors makes them an attractive target to anyone looking for someone to take advantage of.
Over a third of caregivers in one survey said their senior loved one had been the victim of a scam, often losing tens of thousands of dollars in the process. Adding to the risk, many seniors are hesitant to report the scams when they occur because they’re embarrassed or afraid family members will see it as a reason to take away some of their independence.
Being the victim of a scam is stressful, embarrassing, and can leave your loved one without the resources they need to pay for needed health care and senior care as they age. The stakes here are high and many families are aching for a solution.
Smart Cards for Seniors
Smart cards for seniors provide a happy medium for caregivers. They still allow your senior loved one some independence in their finances and spending choices, but they limit the possibility of risk.
The True Link card for seniors allows loved ones a chance to screen certain types of charges before they go through. For example, if you’re worried about your loved one subscribing to a lot of magazine subscriptions they don’t need, you can set up the True Link card to block all charges to magazine companies until you have the chance to approve them. That way, you can cancel the orders your loved doesn’t need, and approve those that you know they have a legitimate reason to want.
You can also set daily and monthly spending limits on the card to limit the potential damage of an ill-advised spending spree. And for extra protection, True Link has people on staff working to identify companies and people who are guilty of scamming seniors so they can block them from the card (hopefully) in advance of when they get to customers. Their staff actually goes out and actively tries to get scammed so they know the bad actors to help you and your loved one avoid.
For now, True Link’s card for seniors appears to be the only card of its type on the market, but it’s a good start to addressing a big problem that many seniors and their family members have faced.
If you’re troubled by the idea of limiting your loved one’s independence but even more worried about the possibility of their nest egg little by little being eaten away by scammers, then a smart card is a good compromise that helps with both problems.