Sometimes older adults fall prey to financial scams since they are less aware of the current internet banking procedures and whatnot. Every year, many older adults become victims of these scams and lose their hard-earned savings and money. To prevent this from happening to you, we have compiled some tips and tricks on how to protect yourself from money scams.
Be Aware of Risks
First and foremost, it is very important to be aware of the risks. Knowing is half the battle and being aware of the various types of financial scams going around is key to not falling prey to them. This way, when you receive a scam call or message, you can identify that it is fraudulent and not get involved. In addition, one can never be too wary. More than 90% of reported incidents of elder abuse were committed by the older adults’ very own family members! As an older adult, do take precautions if your nieces, nephews, or grandchildren start asking you for money. Some typical tactics include asking to set up a joint checking account under the ruse of buying or selling a property but then failing to deliver or outright theft. Even if you are not extremely wealthy or have many assets, do we wary and alert!
Discard all Financial Information
Another way to protect yourself from financial scams and frauds is to discard any unwanted personal information. Identity theft is a big part of such monetary scams. If you accidentally leave your personal information lying around and someone gets their hands on it, they could end up posing as you and taking your money. Thus, you can keep yourself safe by using a paper shredder. This way you can shred your documents before throwing them away. On top of this, be sure to monitor your bank account and credit card statements to make sure everything is as it should be. Finally, do take precautions and do not disclose too much personal information to strangers over phone calls or others who initiate contact with you. Verify the identity of supposed banks etc before sharing information with them.
Take Extra Precautions
You can also take additional precautions by putting your phone number on a Do Not Call list to prevent telemarketers from contacting you via calls or messages. You also ought to be careful of your mail. Try to avoid letting your incoming mail stay in your mailbox for too long and when sending private information via mail drop it off at a collection box or directly at the post office to avoid it being intercepted.
Last but not least, be informed and aware. Before making any big-ticket purchases, take the time to do some research and ensure it is a legitimate business. When preparing to make big financial decisions, bring a trusted individual along so that they can provide a different perspective. It is also important to read fine print and clauses in contracts before signing them during financial planning to be sure that you are not being taken advantage of. As a general rule of thumb, do not allow yourself to be pressured into making any financial decisions or signing contracts.
As a whole, if you follow the above tips, you should be able to steer clear from any financial scams and protect yourself. Remember to not be greedy and that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!