Scams and fraud are becoming more common in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, our seniors are a vulnerable and targeted group. Seniors are targeted via phone, through the mail, in person and online. All seniors are potentially at risk, regardless of their income. The Federal Trade Commission states that seniors are often targets because scam artists believe that they are more susceptible to these scams. Unfortunately, millions of older adults fall into financial scams every year. It is important to know how we can help protect ourselves from these scams.
It is important to be aware of your risk from both strangers and people close to you. Over 90% of elder abuse is committed by a family member. It could include depleting a checking account, promising care in exchange for money, or outright theft. Scammers will also pose as family members needing help to prey on older adults. Always be cautious when sharing money or financial information with anyone, including those closest to you.
One way to prevent fraud is to stay active. Do not isolate yourself from friends and family. Always discuss anything you are unsure of with. Family and close friends can help you understand what is being presented to you and help make a decision.
You may be getting scammed if you are told that you need to act right away. Always take your time to research and make educated decisions. You can always tell solicitors that you do not buy from anyone who calls or visits unannounced. Sign up for the “Do Not Call List” to help avoid these phone calls.
There are more safeguards that you can take to help protect yourself from scammers. Never give personal information over the phone. This includes banking information, credit cards, Medicare numbers, and social security numbers. Be skeptical. If you seem unsure, take your time to decide. Never let anyone pressure you into sharing information that you aren’t comfortable sharing.