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How to spot a scam
May 07, 2017 | 525 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The Phone
Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The Phone
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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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