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How to spot a scam
May 07, 2017 | 2241 views | 0 0 comments | 316 316 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The Phone
Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The Phone

National Council on Aging

Seniors have become the target of financial scams around the country. Many scammers believe that older adults have a greater amount of money in their bank accounts. Scams and abuse range from Medicare fraud to financial abuse by a loved one.

Protect yourself from scams, fraud, or abuse by following these tips:

• Be aware you are at risk from strangers – and those closest to you.

• Don’t isolate yourself – stay involved.

• Always tell solicitors: “I never buy from (or give to) anyone who calls or visits me unannounced. Send me something in writing.”

• Shred all receipts with your credit card number.

• Sign up for the “Do Not Call” list and take yourself off multiple mailing lists.

• Use direct deposit for benefit checks to prevent checks from being stolen from your mailbox.

• Never give credit card, banking, Social Security, Medicare, or other personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.

• Be skeptical of all unsolicited offers and thoroughly do your research.

It’s suggested that caregivers watch for signs that may suggest an older adult has been a victim of fraud or abuse. Some of these signs may include: unusual recent changes in the person’s financial accounts, atypical withdrawals, new person(s) added on an account, or if the senior suddenly appears confused, unkempt, and/or afraid. If the senior has adequate income but utility, rent, mortgage, or other essential bills are unpaid it may be a sign of abuse or fraud. It isn’t unusual for a caregiver or other individual that has committed the crime to block access to a senior.

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to report financial exploitation. Immediately call your bank/credit card company, cancel any debit or credit cards linked to the account, and reset your personal identification numbers.

If you have been a victim of abuse or fraud, please call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-677-1116.

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