The Impact of Senior Scams and How to Protect YourselfJanuary 31, 2021
Every year, millions of older adults are targeted by and fall victim for senior scams, and it results in the loss of money meant for retirement. They’re often the targets of these scams because they typically have a substantial amount of savings. If you fall victim to one of these scams, it can leave you in a vulnerable financial position with little time to regain what you need for retirement. That’s why it’s so important to monitor for scams, the most common of which are online. Below are a few ways you can identify scams and protect yourself.
How to Identify a Scam
There are a few warning signs that you can watch for which may indicate you’ve been the victim of a scam.
- Changes to Your Account that You Didn’t Make. If you notice unusual withdrawals, a sudden use of your debit card or credit card or a new person added to your account that you don’t recognize, you may be the victim of a scam. Reach out to your credit card company or bank to report the inconsistency and ask about next steps.
- Past Due Bills. If your bills are consistently paid but you’re suddenly receiving notifications of missed payments, you’ll want to investigate. There’s a possibility that your account is compromised.
- You’re receiving a substantial amount of too-good-to-be-true mail. If you notice more and more sweepstakes mailings, magazine subscriptions or “free gift” offerings, you may have fallen victim to a scam. Contact your bank or a financial expert to confirm that your accounts are safe and see if there are any further steps you need to take.
How to Protect Yourself
There are a few different ways you can protect yourself from being scammed. Follow these steps to ensure your safety.
- Stay Away from Solicitations. If you have an unfamiliar company or source trying to sell to you, be sure to attain their name, business name, phone number and business license number before making a transaction. Then use that information to run an internet search to confirm their legitimacy.
- Shred Receipts with Your Personal Information. Identity theft is a major business, so it’s important to take as many precautions as possible. Shred credit card receipts and any statements you no longer need. Also, keep a close eye on your credit card and bank statements regularly and reach out to them if you notice anything suspicious arise.
- Sign Up on the “Do Not Call Registry.” You can register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry which prevents telemarketers from contacting you and help reduce the possibility of getting scammed.
- Don’t Give Out Personal Information. Avoid giving out any personal information over the phone or via email. This includes your credit card number, banking information, social security number or any other personal details that could give them access to your finances.
- Set Up Direct Deposit for Any Income. Having your benefit checks and other sources of income directly deposited into your accounts ensures that you stay protected from scammers stealing your checks from your mailbox.
Explore Safe Senior Living Options at The Atrium
If you’re seeking a community where you can feel safe and comfortable, look no further than The Atrium at Navesink Harbor. We offer a full-service independent living community where you can live life free of worries and concerns. Because all of your living costs are consolidated into one monthly service fee, you’ll never have to worry about unpredictable expenses or compromised accounts.