A Phoenix, Arizona, man was arrested after scamming senior citizens out of more than $500,000. The man operated multiple companies who would contact the elderly to say they owed money on unpaid magazine subscriptions. After this arrest, many families started to wonder if their parents would fall for the scam.
How the Magazine Scam Worked.
The scammer and his associates called seniors claiming to be a court official. He’d tell the senior that they’d subscribed to a magazine through a company like My Magazines LLC or National Publishers Magazine and never paid after the subscription was renewed. The unpaid renewal fees and associated court fines were due immediately. If they did not pay immediately, he’d say they needed to appear in court on a certain day.
With credit/debit card numbers or bank account numbers in hand, he and his associates pocketed more than $500,000. One of the victims was an Alzheimer’s patient who received over 100 calls demanding money. In all, the scam lasted from 2013 to 2016 and targeted hundreds of seniors.
How Can You Keep Your Parents Safe?
So many magazine companies today do use auto-renewals. If you subscribe to a magazine, there’s usually a clause in the fine print that states something like, “by subscribing at this discount rate, I agree to have the magazine renewed automatically.” If you don’t cancel in time, your payment method is charged for another year.
Make sure your parents don’t sign up for subscription magazines or services without understanding the terms and conditions. If they need help reading the fine print, make sure they know to wait until you are visiting. You can go over the terms of service with them.
Keep records of anything they do sign up for. Visit the website and see if you can turn off auto-renewal features permanently. If not, mark it on a calendar that you must cancel by a specific date in order to avoid new charges.
If possible, set up your mom or dad’s phone to block unknown numbers. If a scammer tries to call, there are services that automatically reject the calls. Your parents never even hear the phone ring. This keeps your parents from answering and falling for a fraudulent call.
There’s another way to keep your mom and dad safe. Hire caregivers to spend time with them each week. Caregivers offer a range of home care services. They enjoy companionship, help with laundry, assistance with housework, and help grooming and bathing. Learn about the other services by calling us today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional home care in Pelham, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
They have three teenage children and are actively involved in their church and community – both teach high school Sunday school while Dennis coaches youth sports and Kelly leads a women’s Bible study. Dennis & Kelly personally manage the daily activities of the company.
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