12 Apr Be Aware of Senior Scams
Elderly Americans need to be especially aware of senior scams. This population is a big target for scammers. Fraudsters know people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s don’t often report a fraud. Seniors are usually too ashamed to report a scam or they may not even know they have been the victim of one. Moreover, seniors don’t want family members to think they have lost control of their finances.
Avoiding Senior Scams:
Telemarketing scams. Never give out personal information on the phone including credit card, date of birth, bank account numbers, or social security number unless you initiated contact. Furthermore, if you answer a call and the callers asks if you can hear him clearly then hang up. This is a new scam in which victims are recorded saying “yes” then the recording is used to authorize payment for a product or service.
Home Improvement scams. Use a local, well-established contractor. Ask for and check references. Give only a portion of payment to start the work and only pay the balance when the job is finished to your satisfaction.
Door-to-door sales. Never allow anyone you don’t know to enter your home. Magazine sales are a common door-to-door scam. Subscriptions are not only bogus but once inside your home scammers may steal jewelry or money.
Health scams. Health scams usually attract people who are in pain and at the end-of-the-rope with conventional medicine. They often target conditions in which symptoms may be treated but are not curable. Be aware of anti-aging therapies, arthritis remedies, cancer cures, memory aids, misleading dietary supplement claims, and health insurance promises.
Online scams. Create passwords which are unique. Use a random mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Longer passwords are better because they are harder for a scammer to figure out. Install anti-virus software and computer updates when notified. Do not open suspicious e-mails or attachments. Delete them immediately.
Seniors grew up in a time when business was based on a handshake and trust. Sadly, those times have changed and the elderly population must be especially aware of being victims of unscrupulous people and actions. Don’t through away your hard-earned money.