Scams Targeting Seniors

by Karen on August 18, 2017

Telephone

Scammers are becoming more and more resourceful and their stories are more believable than ever. Recently, we’ve experienced some new scams targeting seniors. Their frauds are easy to fall for, and are completely believable. We’re here to help you identify these common scams to help you and your loved ones avoid them. We’ve personally picked up a phone call for a loved one and heard the “sweepstakes” call. One of our employees even picked up the phone for a client and got the “grandparents scheme.” These scammers are using manipulative stories intended to convince seniors to give their identification and banking information over the phone. No one should fall prey to these manipulative people and we want to give you the tools to be able to successfully avoid and report them.

 

Tax Debts

Taxes

According to this USA Today article, one of the most prevalent scamming frauds targeting seniors is a tax debt phone call from scammers posing as employees from the IRS. Scammers call homes stating that seniors have outstanding tax debts and threaten that they will be arrested if they do not pay their debt over the phone. The scammers are believable and forceful making it seem like you’re actually in trouble.

If you ever receive a phone call from someone stating that they are from the IRS requesting money, hang up immediately and report the call to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490. You should also contact your local taxpayer advocate. Click here to be directed to their website for more information.

 

Medicare/Health Insurance

Scams Targeting Seniors

Scammers take advantage of seniors receiving Medicare by posing as Medicare representatives seeking to complete supposed “missing” information to get individuals to give them their personal information over the phone. Because all United States citizens over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare, scammers do not need to do extensive research to target individuals for their personal information.

Be sure to always keep record of health care services and save the receipts and statements you receive from providers. If you believe that you’ve fallen victim to Medicare fraud, click here to access Medicare’s own fraud information website, or call the Medicare fraud phone number (1-800-633-4227).

 

Grandparents Scheme

Scams Targeting Seniors

Another common manipulative tactic that scammers use is the “grandparents scheme.” A scammer will call a senior and will pose as a grandchild in need of help. The scammer will pretend that they need money to be bailed out of jail or for some other emergency, but will beg the grandparent not to tell anyone in the family. They will then ask for the money to be paid over the phone, at a Western Union, or via online methods.

While it may be easy to fall for this trick and become distressed believing that your grandchild may be in trouble, don’t give them your bank information. Instead, hang up and call the parents of your grandchild to ensure that they are okay. In doing so, you’ll get peace of mind, and ensure that a manipulative scammer does not steal your money.

 

The Lottery

Scams Targeting Seniors

Scammers will target seniors stating that they have won some sort of prize or are guaranteed to win a prize, but in order to receive it, must pay some sort of fee. They will then either ask for banking information, or will ask for payment to be sent in order to receive the prize. In some cases, scammers may even send checks to be deposited into the victim’s bank account. Once deposited, the check will bounce, but not before the scammers have requested for fees and other services to be paid in full. If you receive a phone call stating that you’ve won some sort of sweepstakes, don’t get too excited and do not pay any fees or give any personal information. This scam really is too good to be true.

These scams may also be conducted via the postal service in which seniors will receive a statement in the mail stating that they have won a prize or are guaranteed to win a prize if they enter to win by paying an introductory fee. These lottery schemes may sound like a win-win situation, but once scammers collect their fees, there is no chance of winning the prize. To learn more about these lottery frauds via the postal service and how to avoid them, click here.

 

Charity

Scams Targeting Seniors

From American Red Cross

Have you ever received phone calls from telemarketers requesting money for a charity or to raise money for the latest natural disaster? Sometimes, these calls can be a fraud. If the telemarketer ever asks for your payment information over the phone to donate to the latest cause, hang up immediately. You should never give your personal banking information over the phone, as a scammer may be ready to record it and use it to their personal advantage.

If you’re interested in donating money to a local charity or would like to help raise money for a natural disaster, research the charity or natural disaster on the Internet. Charities and non-profits helping to collect money for natural disasters often have official websites in which you can directly donate funds, or find official contact information to donate. For example, if you view American Red Cross’ official donation page, you can see that they have multiple methods in which you can donate. Their page also advertises security from cyber attacks, as well as an official mark stating that they are an accredited charity. Look for these signs before you donate to make sure your donation is going to helping hands.

 

We hope that we have shed some light on the manipulative tactics that scammers use when targeting seniors. Scammers are manipulative and have perfected their frauds, so if you fall for one of their scams, don’t blame yourself. Just always be sure that your personal and banking information is kept safe, and never give it over the phone. A Second Me is always here to help. We’ve been through the scams before and have talked to scammers ourselves! We will always pass on information that we have so contact us with any questions, or check out some helpful websites we found.

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Save Money By Hiring A Second Me

by Karen on August 4, 2017

Grocery StoreMany have a love hate relationship with grocery shopping. Sometimes it’s exciting to go to the store when you’re with a friend or significant other and are eager to buy ingredients to try a new recipe. Other times it can be another weekly chore that’s difficult to fit around your already busy schedule. While some grocery stores offer personal shopping services, it’s sometimes difficult to trust that a random grocery store worker will get you the best deals and will choose food from your list thoughtfully and carefully. This is where A Second Me steps in.

Unlike your love hate relationship with grocery shopping, we are actually happy to do it for you. Over the past years working as an errand service business for Northern Virginia residents, we have learned some tips and tricks to conquer the dreaded grocery store while saving you money. Read below for some reasons why hiring A Second Me, LLC can actually save you money.

 

We Never Shop Hungry

As we’re sure you’ve heard multiple times, you’re never supposed to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Shopping hungry causes more temptation to buy items that you don’t actually need. Think about it, when you’re starving and looking at rows and rows of food in front of you, you’re much more likely to buy a quick snack to either munch on while you’re at the grocery store or when you’re home. This item is likely not on your grocery list and results from you following your stomach rather than your budget. But, if you hire A Second Me to do your grocery shopping, you’ll end up saving money because you won’t even be at the grocery store to buy tempting food! We’ll stick to exactly what’s on your list and buy no more or no less.

 

We’ll Get You Deals

We’ve been around the grocery store block more than a few times and know the tricks of the trade when it comes to grocery shopping. For example, it’s important to look at a shelf from top to bottom because grocery stores purposefully arrange the most expensive items right at eye level so that you’re more likely to purchase them. Grocery stores also purposely arrange items so that the produce and dairy items are at opposite ends of the store. This is meant to promote grocery shoppers to weave between the aisles and potentially buy more items that they don’t need. We stick to the perimeters of the store and carefully look at pricing to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for high quality products that you’ve asked us to purchase.

 

We Motivate You To Write Lists

Grocery shopping on an empty stomach may be rule number one to avoid, but grocery shopping without a list is definitely rule number two to avoid. When you grocery shop without a list it’s easy to forget items that you need which wastes more time, money, and gas because you need to return to the grocery store to pick up your forgotten item. You’re also more likely to buy items that you don’t need if you don’t have a grocery list since you’ll be more tempted to buy new items to try or foods that you’re craving. By preparing a list for us to use when we grocery shop for you, we help motivate you to plan your meals ahead of time and minimize the chances of straying from your food plans and buying random unnecessary items. If you need some help planning your meals for the week or meal prepping once you receive your groceries, don’t worry! We can do that too. Not only will you feel more organized since you’ll have a plan, groceries, and potentially meals prepped for the week, but you’ll also save money, which is never a bad thing in our book.

 

It may sound counter intuitive to hire someone to save you money, but grocery shopping does require a certain amount of attention and skill. Trust us to pick up your groceries weekly, monthly, or even two times a week. Write us a list, give us a budget, and we’ll do the best that we can to find everything on the list and stay within budget. While we’re perusing the aisles of the local grocery store, hang out with your family, go to the gym, or relax during the extra hour that we provide to your day.

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Services We DON’T Offer in a Nutshell

July 21, 2017
Health Care - Services We DON

You may have seen our latest “Services in a Nutshell” blog about some of the most common services that we perform for our clients on a daily basis. While a lot of our services are on a case by case basis, we wanted to give you a list of some common requests that we don’t […]

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Our Services In A Nutshell

July 7, 2017
Meal prepping with A Second Me

Browsing through our site can offer loads of information for those looking to get to know A Second Me a little better. Learn about our team members, read some testimonials from previous clients, and learn some helpful tips as well as read personal stories from our team over on our blog site. While we do […]

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Get To Know Us

June 9, 2017
Karen Prante (A Second Me Owner)

If you’ve checked out our website recently, you may have noticed that our staff bios page has changed a bit, and we’ve added two new members to the A Second Me team! However, if you haven’t gotten a chance to read the staff bios page, are a new customer, or thinking about hiring our services, […]

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Copy Yourself…In the Kitchen!

May 8, 2017
A Second Me Meal Planning

We pride ourselves in the fact that we are considered your duplicate when it comes to completing your everyday tasks that you need help with. Whether the tasks are organization related, errand related, or even companionship related, we will complete every single task with the same quality and care as if you were doing it […]

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April Gardening 101

April 12, 2017
April Gardening 101

April is a month filled with leftover spring-cleaning, preparing for Easter if you celebrate it, and if you live in Virginia, finally feeling hopeful enough to start gardening because the weather is actually consistent enough to do so. However, with the task of gardening come some dos and don’ts of the April springtime gardening season. […]

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Stress Free: Easier Than You Think

March 24, 2017
Save yourself from stress with A Second e

Stress seems to follow us at all stages of life – from juggling school assignments and extracurriculars, to starting your own family and maintaining your career. While these milestones bring an enormous amount of joy in life, they inevitably bring stress that is often difficult to overcome by yourself. So, to help you out, we […]

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Seeking Care Out of State

March 3, 2017
Seeking Care Out of State

Caring for an elderly parent, while rewarding, can also be very difficult to manage. Constantly ensuring that their fridge is stocked with meals that are easy to cook or heat up, filling prescriptions and making sure that your parent is taking their medication on time, and checking in on your loved one to keep them […]

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Simplify Meal Times with Meal Prepping

February 17, 2017
Meal Prep Overnight oats

Oftentimes when one hears the term “meal prepping” an image of an entire day spent cooking meals for the week with numerous dirty dishes comes to mind. A Second Me can help with your meal prepping woes, but we’ve done a little digging and have found some easy nonperishable recipes that will make dreading meal […]

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