Senior Fraud Prevention
Fraud is all around our world and something that we are faced with in many ways. Seniors are at one of the highest risks of being taken advantage of by someone and becoming victims of fraud. They are often unsuspecting and not as well versed in fraudulent activities and scams as the younger generations. There are several things that can be done to help seniors avoid fraud.
Keep it Short
Seniors are typically very interested in having long conversations with others, even strangers. They are looking for the social interaction and are often more than happy to talk at length with anyone that they meet. This can be dangerous for many seniors and learning when to stop talking is important. Avoiding telling strangers specific details of their life is a good way for seniors to avoid being the victim of fraudulent activity. Keep the conversation basic and short with someone new.
Keep it to Yourself
Avoiding providing others with your banking information or credit card information over the telephone or on the computer is essential for everyone, particularly seniors. This is a definite way that a senior can be easily taken advantage of. Paying bills when the bill arrives in the mail and by check is a good way to ensure that the bill is actually being paid and that there is a good trail of the money that they are spending. It might take a few extra minutes and a stamp, but for a senior it is an excellent preventative measure.
It is vital that a senior does not sign any documentation without first fully reading and understanding what they are signing. If the senior does not understand what they are reading they should not feel badly about asking to have someone else that they trust read through the contract for them. This doesn't necessarily have to be an attorney and could be a family member or close friend that could read through the document with you so that you are sure you understand what you are reading.
Before you give any information to anyone or allow someone that you don't know into your home, as a senior you want to verify the information. This is especially true of contractors, carpet cleaners, air conditioning professionals and the like. Make sure you get their information such as company name, business license and contact information to include an address. Then don't be rushed. Take the time to check out the information by calling your local licensing office and asking about the company. Better to take the extra time than to be taken advantage of.
Use a Shredder
A basic way to keep your financial and private information safe is by shredding all documents that have any personal information, billing information or banking information. Keeping a small shredder near where you go through your mail is the fastest way to get the job done quickly. You will find yourself doing it as second nature before too long and it will be hard to stop.
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