There are many people out there who look to harvest where they have not sown. This is why you hear of people being scammed, leaving them with a lot of losses, in some cases, people lose their entire life savings. The scammers usually target people who are vulnerable to ensure they have an easier time swindling them. Some of the people usually scammed include seniors and people with low income.
Scam artists are very creative and there is no end to their creativity. They come up with ways to easily convince their victims into trusting them. Many of them look like good people who are there to help you, but looks should never be used to determine if a person can be trusted or not. There are a number of things you can do to avoid senior scams.
Sign Up for Direct Deposits at Your Bank
If you receive checks from time to time on your mail – like social security, stock dividends or disability – have the checks deposited directly to your bank account. Doing this will go a long way in helping you avoid mail scams.
Reduce Telemarketer Calls to Avoid Senior Scams
Saying no to a telemarketer can be hard, but that can become a financial disaster if you become a victim of a senior scam. If you want to avoid this type of scam, reduce the number of telemarketers calls you receive by registering with the federal government’s “Do Not Call Registry”.
Ignore Direct Mail Advertising
Seniors are usually a target of direct mail, which offers something for free or almost free and then signs you up for further financial obligations. The next time you receive a mail saying that you have won a contest or cruise, read the fine print very carefully to ensure there are no hidden costs that come with it.
Look Out for Medicare Scams
There are a number of companies that will offer Medicare drug discount cards that usually save you money. Unfortunately, many scams artist have used it to scam unsuspecting seniors. A good way to enroll for Medicare-approved discount cards is by directly contacting Medicare to get the list of approved companies. Medicare discount cards are usually not sold through door-to-door sales or phone. You should not also provide any proof of income because Medicare can access your records from IRS. If you are asked to provide proof of income and bank accounts, then there is a chance you are dealing with a fraudulent company.
Assign a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives a trusted person of your choice to make key financial or life decisions if you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, there are many people who have been taken advantage of by perpetrators when they are ill or cannot make good decisions themselves. Having someone you trust handle your financial or life decisions is recommended. It is important to execute the power of the attorney before you are too ill to make the decision.