Scammer Alert: How To Protect The Elderly

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Officials are speaking out to make sure that you know how to protect a family member who is receiving home health care from an aide.

Whether it is helping out with daily tasks or even cleaning.

The President from the Michigan In-Home Care Association as well as the Michigan State Police are speaking out to shed some light on steps you can take to make sure the person you’re letting into your home, is trustworthy.

Scams, credit card fraud and identity theft can be a scary thing, especially for those like the elderly who can be more vulnerable than others; And according to Russ Knopp, especially if the scammer is right in your own home.

“Seniors do not want to report when this happens.. a lot of them think that this is a sign that I’m failing that someone took advantage of me and my family is going to put me in a home,” Knopp said.

Russ Knopp is the president of the Michigan In-Home Care Association, which represents In-Home care companies.

He said situations like this can be prevented if the right measures are taken.

Knopp suggests when you hire a car-giver from a trusted source; many steps have already been taken to ensure the care-giver can be trusted, starting with a national background check

“You have to do drug testing.. Screening and reference checks are all mandatory for any of our employees,” he said.

And if a person has any history with financial issues, right away they become ineligible.

“It boils down to as simple as bouncing a check in your past,” Knopp said.

Even if a caregiver does get hired, they have supervisors who assist them in the clients home.

But let’s say you want to hire someone on your own, meaning someone who isn’t an employee of an in-home care company.

According to Lieut. Kyle Bowman from the Michigan State Police, there are ways you can ensure trust.

“A lot of things that we try to encourage people to do is do the “due diligence” if they are hiring somebody for services within their home,” Lieut. Bowman said. “Clarify specifically what it is that their role is, there is nothing wrong with asking those basic questions.”

It is possible for you to run a background check right from your home.

On the Michigan State Police website – they have a link that allows you to look up the criminal history of any person. All it cost you is $10.

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