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Senior Scams | 6 ways to ensure you’re not the next target

June 20, 2015

Scams are slimy no matter what, but they’re even worse when they specifically target seniors. According to the FBI, older adults tend to be an “easy target” for scammers for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  1. They’re likely to have great credit and be in a good financial position
  2. They were likely raised to be polite and trusting
  3. They’re least likely to report a fraud or feel confident in reporting what happened

So consider yourself informed! Here are 6 ways to protect yourself and loved ones from being a victim of a scam.

  1. Stay up to date. Keep up with a few credible sources’ lists of common scams that target seniors. You’ll be more likely to identify a scam crossing your path if you’ve read about it or something similar before. We recommend the National Council on Aging and the FBI. You can even sign up to receive alerts on the very latest scams hitting seniors from the National Consumer Protection Bureau.
  2. Join the “Do Not Call” registry. This avoids the potential telemarketer scam disaster.
  3. Utilize direct deposit and bill pay through your trusted banking institution. This minimizes opportunity for leaked account numbers or financial information through mail fraud.
  4. Ignore direct mail. Most likely, “free” does not mean free. If there’s something of particular interest, get a trusted friend or family member’s second opinion on if it seems like a scam or not.
  5. Do not give out personal or financial information. If you get a call or email asking for the like, get a name and phone number to call them back so you can verify that you’re dealing with the company you think you are. If you cannot verify that the request is legitimate, just say no!
  6. Have a discussion. Talk with older adults in your life to protect them from a potential scam. This article from AARP outlines four worthwhile discussion pointers to protect them.

Have a tip or great lesson to share about scams that target seniors? Leave a reply below!

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