5 Tips For Seniors on Preventing Money Scams
Millions of seniors fall victim to financial scams each and every year. As a senior adult who has worked hard for your money, it is important that you understand what these scams are, how to spot them and most importantly, how to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams. The more you are able to protect yourself, the better off you, and your finances will be.
- Remember Everyone is at Risk for Financial Abuse- It is important to remember that you can never be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself from financial scams. Financial scams fall under the umbrella of elder abuse and 90% of all reported elder abuse actually comes from family members. All seniors can be victim to financial abuse, even those who do not have a high income or a large amount of assets. Be aware of the fact that scams can and do happen and you will be better protected than the average senior.
- Know How to Respond to Solicitors- Solicitors can be a major hassle for any individual, and they are one of the leading culprits behind money scams. Never buy something from an unfamiliar company. You should always ask for and wait until you receive written materials before you buy anything. If you are actually interested about an offer or about giving to charity, simply respond with “I never buy anything or give money to anyone who calls unannounced. Please send me something in writing.” You should have some written proof in case it turns out to be a scam. You should always know the name of the salesperson and the business before you give any money.
- Shred Your Receipts. This is a great way to protect yourself from identity theft and a simple habit to get into. Shred your credit card receipts to make sure that your information isn’t out in the open. You should also monitor your bank statements and credit card information to keep your identity secure.
- Get Yourself Off Of Those Phone and Email Lists. Being on phone and email lists is a great way to put your self at risk for potential money scams. These email and phone lists can also be very annoying, and these solicitors can be very tiresome to deal with. You can visit donotcall.com to get yourself off of telemarketing lists.
- Never Give Your Personal Information Over the Phone, Unless You Start the Call. Unless you initiate the call, you should n ever give any of your personal information over the phone. This includes your credit card, banking information, Social Security number, Medicare information or anything else that may put you at risk for fraud.
With more people than ever being scammed for money, it is so important for seniors to understand the common signs of money fraud, and how to make sure that they are staying protected against these types of scams.
Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.