Champion Home Health Care has made caring for seniors our mission. Our goal is to provide the absolute best in-home health care and wellness services for the seniors in Brevard County, FL. Our goal is excellence above everything else, and with our network of providers, we can tailor services for our clients on an individual basis completely. From medication management and general housekeeping to more acute care, our caregivers and nurses are thoroughly checked and vetted. You can rest easy knowing that the senior in your life is in the hands of our capable and compassionate staff. Thankfully, our area was spared the worst of the recent hurricane. Despite this, high winds and rain still had an effect on homes thoroughly Brevard. This has left many of us in need of home repairs. Unfortunately, it is in times like this that home repair scammers scout out homes and families to take advantage of. Seniors are often victims of fraud and we want you and them to stay aware and on guard. Please read on for advice on how to spot scammers and stop them in their tracks.
According to a 2015 study by True Link Financial, seniors lose over 36 billion dollars a year to fraud. Seniors own more than fifty-percent of all financial assets in the U.S. making them prime targets for fraudulent activities of all kinds. The FBI states that the elderly are less likely to report being taken advantage of out of shame and fear. Scammers know this and will take full advantage of the situation. Seniors who own homes are especially targeted because these homes are often more than 20 years old. Homes in this age range may need general maintenance and repairs on the best of days and especially so after a storm like Hurricane Irma. Contractors who are out for a quick buck seek out senior homeowners and hope that they are not savvy enough to ask questions before money is exchanged. If you are an older citizen and a homeowner, be on the lookout for any questionable tactics and report them as soon as possible.
Here are just a few of the ways scammers work:
- Pressure Tactics – Scammers will push for a hard sell on seniors and will not accept no for an answer. To combat this, never make a choice under pressure. Recognize that you have the right to say no and take your time in making the decision.
- Ask for Money Up Front – Many scammers begin by targeting homes. You may receive an unsolicited visit from a repairman who “notices something is wrong.” They suggest a wide range of options to help you with repairs and require payment up front. If you get a knock on your door from an uninvited contractor, run away. These unsolicited visits are one of the many ways scammers prey on the elderly. To prevent this from happening to you, NEVER give money for work that has not occurred. Often times, a contractor will offer services that they simply cannot complete. They get money and then leave you high and dry. In order to prevent this, make sure you have everything in writing. A written contract can save you should something go awry.
- Overpricing – You are a victim of fraud when you pay too much for a service rendered. This is why it is always important to do research. Check out potential contractors and make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Go to the Better Business Bureau and find their rating. Ask all the questions you need to feel comfortable. Don’t let the contractor dictate the negotiation.
We all need to watch out for more vulnerable populations, especially during and after a weather event.
If you are a senior and feel you have been taken advantage of, speak up and ask for help! If you care for a senior, ask that they include you in the decision-making process to help protect their assets. Working together, we can put an end to elderly fraud.