6 Questions to Ask Elderly Parents About Phone Safety and Scammers

  • Elder Law
5 questions to ask elderly parents about phone safety and scammers | estate and probate legal group

Talking to your aging parents about phone scams, frauds and hackers can be difficult if they become defensive. They might feel that you are implying they can no longer care for themselves. That may not be true; you might be concerned about their lack of knowledge of the latest phishing or phone scams that are out there. The Wall Street Journal has tips for talking to your aging parents about phone safety and scammers.

How to Begin the Conversation about Phone Safety and Scammers

Emotions run high around the holiday season, and that’s what scammers are planning on. They want an emotional response to their phone call, causing you or your parents to overlook the fact that something is not right about that call. The scammers want you or your aging parents to make the bad decision and give out your social security number, or bank PIN.

Do not be condescending when talking with your parents; they probably know more than you think. Instead, tell them your concerns. Explain more phishing scams happen around the holidays, so now is a good time for both your parents and you to slow down and discuss this.

People over 60 have lost a lot of money to phone scammers. So here are some questions to help begin the conversation with your parents about keeping themselves safe from hackers, scammers and frauds.

  1. Do You Update Your Phone Software regularly?
    • Updating the software not only helps your phone run faster, but it will install new security software.
  2. Is Your Phone Locked?
    • Many people 60 and older do not like the hassle of having to unlock their phone each time they want to use it. But a thief can access everything if they steal your parent’s phone. Explain to your parents that a PIN, a shape, finger ID or face ID is almost necessary.
  3. Are You Set Up to Receive Alerts from Your Bank?
    • Many banks will send a text message for any unusual purchase. This is one way to determine immediately if their account has been compromised.
  4. Is Your Email Set Up For Spam Filters?
    • Your email can detect and automatically send spam emails to a separate folder. This keeps you or your parents from ever seeing and believing the spam email.
  5. What Do You Want to Happen to your Digital Identity After You Die??
    • This may be a tough question to consider, but necessary. Several software companies offer different options. There is Apple Legacy Contacts, Google Inactive Account Manager and Facebook Memorialized Page
  6. Do You Have Any Concerns?
    • Find out if your parents have received any odd texts or phone calls lately. You can ask what they noticed or what they were concerned about.

Oak Brook Elder Law Attorney

It’s not unusual for an older parent to have fallen for a scam or phishing fraud. Thieves target the older population. If a loved one has been scammed, call us to see if we can help. Contact us today at 630-864-5835.

AREAS WE SERVE: DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.