5 Tips to Protect Seniors from ScamsJune 10, 2020
The internet has made so many things easier! We’re better able to stay connected with loved ones, keep track of finances, make purchases, and access information. However, the internet isn’t risk-free. In fact, internet scams have increased steadily over the past decade. According to AARP, older adults lose an estimated $2.9 billion each year to financial fraud.
In this edition of the True Blue blog, we want to offer 5 tips that can help protect seniors from scams.
The more information you have about potential financial scams, the better. Familiarize yourself with this list from the National Council on Aging, which highlights the top 10 financial scams targeting seniors, including health insurance scams, counterfeit prescription drugs, investment schemes, and lottery scams. While these types of fraud are continually evolving, understanding the more common scams will help you know what to look for if you encounter something that smells fishy.
One good way to prevent yourself from becoming the victim of a scam is to limit who can contact you:
- Opt-out of commercial mail solicitations through the Direct Marketing Association’s mail preference service
- Opt-out of unsolicited credit offers.
- You can even follow these tips to help reduce the number of robo-calls you receive on your phone. Reducing these solicitations will make you less likely to encounter scams and more likely to do thorough research if something slips through the cracks.
Use Caution Online
While not all fraud is committed online, it does open the door for potential danger, especially for seniors who might be less tech-savvy. To protect yourself, use an abundance of caution online. Don’t click links in e-mails from people you don’t know, and even if you do know the sender, try typing any unexpected links manually into the browser. Similarly, if someone asks you for money online, confirm with the person in-person or over the phone before moving forward.
Protect Your Personal Information
Protecting your personal information is one of the best ways to protect yourself from internet and phone scams targeting seniors.
- You should never give your password, social security number, or bank account number to anyone over the phone unless you initiated contact and trust the company.
- You’ll also want to make sure you’re using secure, unique passwords for every online login, which may necessitate a password manager like LastPass to help keep passwords straight.
- You should also set up two-factor authentication for any online banking you do, as this can protect you even if your password is compromised.
Do Your Research
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to trust your gut. If a situation seems too good to be true, it’s likely that it is, and you’ll want to do your due diligence before making an irreversible decision. If you know you’re a naturally unsuspicious person, make sure to consult someone you trust before making any decisions about your finances. If you encounter something that seems shady, take the time you need to do the necessary research.
Here for You
At Blue Harbor Senior Living, our True Blue staff works hard to keep our residents safe, happy, and healthy. Keep an eye on our senior living blog where we discuss everything from self-care during COVID-19 to the benefits of games for seniors. We’re always here to help and protect you, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
Back to Community Life