How can you avoid your elderly parent being scammed?

According to a number of carers in our survey, many senior citizens are frightened of being scammed. There may be a fear of telephone sales calls, but also that a doctor might not do a proper examination. But what can you as a carer do about it?

The media are full of reports about more and more older people being tricked out of their money. People falling victim to fraud, especially older people, is one of the most common crimes in Sweden. This has caused many older people and their carers to express concerns that their old parents might fall victim to crimes in which they lose money.

The police offer plenty of tips

The police force’s website has plenty of tips on what you can do as a carer:

  • Ask your parent to contact their bank directly if the parent suspects they have been tricked into disclosing bank details.

  • If your parent receives a visitor and isn’t sure who they are, let them know they can always ask to see ID.

  • Tell your elderly parent that personal data such as passwords or codes must never be disclosed to anyone else.

  • If your parent receives a call from an unknown person, you should tell the parent never to log in using their bank ID. You should also tell your parent to ask for the phone number so they can call back later. This gives you or your parent the chance to double-check the phone number. 

  • Always notify the police if you suspect that your parent has been scammed.

Accompany your parent if it’s an important meeting

But maybe it’s not just concern that your parent might be tricked out of money that’s worrying you. It could be that your parent might be exploited or misled in other contexts. According to our expert Josefin Rosberg, the best advice is to help your parent if there is something particularly important that has to be done. For example, if your parent is going to see a doctor or have a meeting with the municipality about interventions, it can be a good idea to go along or to ask a friend to help. But it’s important to remember that your parent must give their consent to someone accompanying them.

Share the responsibility and seek help

It can also feel difficult as a carer to take on serious responsibilities yourself. Josefin’s tip is therefore to share the responsibility among family and friends. She also explains that there is a support function for carers in the municipality, which offers counselling if you’re feeling the weight of the responsibility.

When it comes to medical appointments, there is also a Patient Advisory Committee in every region in Sweden. You can contact this committee if you feel that your parent has not received the care that they should be entitled to. The Patient Advisory Committee is an independent party that can be contacted if there have been any problems with a medical appointment.

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