Older adults can’t take care of themselves like they used to, and as a consequence of this, they often become a target for those with ill intentions. Due to old age, seniors usually start spending time only with their close family in the safety of their homes. But this often leads to them being scammed. All the elderly can fall prey to various scams, but according to statistics, women older than 80 are twice as likely to be crossed over by scammers than the male population.
Some seniors fall prey to scams because they underestimate just how smart, tricky, and most of all unscrupulous scammers can be. Some of the most frequent frauds are sweepstakes scams, Medicare scams, credit card fraud, online scams, and investment schemes.
Luckily there are ways that you can make sure that both you and your loved ones stay safe from these situations. All you need is the right information. In recent years, protecting yourself against fraud has become a must-do. If you follow the basic guidelines that we are going to post below, you can avoid unpleasant situations.
A Money-Making Scheme That Became a Money-Taking Scam
This story is about Joe Melomo. This man, upon entering his retirement, decided to invest his money into a precious metals scheme. He connected with investors and gave them $200,000 out of his retirement savings. What he didn’t know was that these investors weren’t reputable but were scammers. Melomo reported this crime, which is not something many seniors do. Because of this, he was later called to testify before the US Senate and share his experience. After he reported the crime, more than 100,000 cases like this were discovered. After falling prey to this investment fraud, Joe now needs to find money that will last him through his retirement.
You don’t have to go through what he did to learn the lesson. All you need to do is follow a few necessary steps that we are going to list below. By following these steps, you will be able to stay alert and be aware of any scam coming your way.
How to Decrease Your Risk of Being Scammed
- Unlist your contact information – In order to approach you, scammers first need to have your contact information. They need to obtain your data in order to approach you. If you remove your contact from the public space, you will lower their chances of getting through to you.
- Contact the Direct Marketing Association – The DMA is an organization that controls which mail is delivered to your mailbox. They classify your letters by categories. Credit offers, catalogs, and magazine offers are just pieces of your mail. If you contact the DMA, you will be able to sort out the types of mail you no longer want to receive.
- Check your credit – By doing this, you will have an insight into whether there were any accounts created under your name with the intention to harm you. It is recommended you do this every year to be able to react swiftly if the worst happens.
- Ask for help – If you are interested in being protected against scams, AARP’s Fraud Fighter Call Center is a place you will want to call. If you have already fallen victim to a fraud, they will be able to direct you towards the solution of your problem. When fraud happens, reacting fast can mean the difference between losing all or just some of your money.
Scamming the elderly is not something a decent person would do, but it happens all the time, as there are bad people out there in the world. So to avoid this happening to you or your loved one, be alert and aware and also follow the steps above to reduce the risk of being prey to fraud.
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