To a criminal, seniors can seem like easy prey. They may be overly trusting or lonely. Older adults also often have some money saved, and these savings are appealing to criminals.
You need to stay on guard to prevent becoming a victim. Simple things can increase your chances of preventing fraud.
- Anything that sounds too good to be true – likely is.
- Do not tell people your social security, bank account or credit card numbers, especially people who call you on the telephone.
- Do not invite strangers into your home.
- Be wary of anyone going door-to-door, soliciting or offering to make home repairs. Hire only licensed and insured contractors. Check their references.
- Always ask for identification from service and delivery people.
- Let an attorney review all contracts and never sign one with blank lines.
- Check the background of any home health aide or housekeepers who comes to provide services. Keep valuables and financial documents locked up.
- Never sign blank health insurance forms.
Web sites of interest include:
Consumer Action – This web site offers information about scams and how to avoid them. You can download booklets about avoiding scams from this site.
Federal Bureau of Investigation – This web site offers older adults some great tips for avoiding fraud and how to avoid being the target of theft.
Protecting Yourself and Your Medicare Benefits – Florida’s SHINE Program Warns against Scams
Financial Fraud Checklists – If you have been a victim of financial fraud, these Recovery Checklists can help you protect your financial future and move forward with your recovery.
Phone Scams – List of 8 of the most common phone scams to watch out for.