Don’t Fall for These Financial Scams
You spent your working years pinching pennies and stashing money away to have a considerable nest egg. Not only did your blood, sweat, and tears go into that post-retirement savings, but if anything were to happen to that money, you’d be in considerable trouble.
Unfortunately, there are many criminals who focus on taking these hard-earned moneys from seniors through scams that they believe will be fallen for. The best protection is to be smart, suspicious, and informed. Here are a few of the most common senior-targeted financial scams currently know to the public.
1: Medicare Scams
Since it is well known Medicare will be issuing new cars in 2018 and ’19, many scam artists have jumped on the opportunity by calling or going door-to-door trying to get the insurance identification number for individuals. Once they have that number, they use it to bill Medicare for bogus services.
How to Avoid: Know that Medicare will not ever call or show up to your house. If they need to contact you, it is exclusively done through the mail – with the exception being if YOU call them first. If anyone says they are from Medicare, hang up or close and lock the door right away.
2: Phone Call from the IRS Scam
This one is like the Medicare scam, in that the scammer is seeking your personal information through the guise of a phone call from a government organization. For this one, they are primarily seeking your debit card information and the last four digits of your SSN.
How to Avoid: The IRS, like Medicare, will never call you. All essential information and communications are sent via the US postal service. Hang up on anyone claiming to be an agent from the Internal Revenue service.
3: Abuse of Authority
This one is the most dangerous and most common scam because it does not come from strangers, but people you trust – like family members or your financial advisor. Anyone who has access to your funds and permission to send or receive money on your behalf can steal your hard-earned money.
How to Avoid: Never give your financial advisor the authority to use your money without written permission. When it comes to family members, it’s best to manage your own finances if you are healthy. When the time comes to appoint someone to manage things after your gone, choose very wisely and put restrictions on what can be done while you are still able to make decisions.
4: Fake Prescription Drug Offers
Ordering medications online can save a lot of money and hassle but be cautious of any sites advertising “cheaper drug alternatives.” This scam operates via a fake website. Once you send your payment, you may receive medications which will not treat your condition at all. This is not only bad for your financial health, but your physical health as well.
How to Avoid: Always verify a pharmacy is legitimate before using them – especially online. You can do this by checking to see if they are licensed by your state of residence, and that they have a trained, licensed pharmacist employed by their staff.