Every year the senior population is preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals whose sole purpose is to defraud them. As you or your loved one age, it is important to know how to protect yourself. Some of the following actions may seem minor, but when combined with vigilance, they can protect your hard-earned assets from those who wish to steal them.
Let the Call Go To Voicemail
If you receive a phone call and don’t know the phone number, let it go to voicemail. They’ll leave a message if they need to contact you. Your cell phone should already have a Caller ID feature built into the phone to aid in this task.
Enabling Caller ID services on your landline (if you have one) is a necessary tool. It is worth the nominal monthly fee to see who's calling before answering. Often, someone will disguise themselves as a family member by asking for grandma or grandpa and having them state their grandchild’s name. This sets up the senior to believe it is their family member calling.
Protect Your Personally Identifiable Information
If someone calls you and states that they're from an institution you do business with, they'll already have your personal information on hand.
Before confirming your identity, you or your caregiver should ask the person on the other end of the phone for their name, company name, why they are calling and for a call back number. Tell them you’ll take care of this matter at a later time and disconnect the phone call. If they’re pushy and try to keep you on the phone, know that it is ok to hang up.
Do Your Due Diligence
After receiving an unsolicited phone call, find the company’s phone number yourself. If you have difficulty doing so, ask a trusted caregiver, friend or family member to help. Look the company up online or locate their contact information from old statements. Determine whether the number you were given by the caller matches what you found. Contact the company directly if, indeed, it was a legitimate call.
Protect Your Assets in Your Senior Years
Taking proactive steps to protect your money is necessary for financial security. You or your caretaker should follow these tips to prevent financial exploitation:
Set up fraud alerts on all three credit union sites.
Freeze credit with the three main credit unions.
Automate monthly payments.
Set up statements to come via email versus regular mail.
Contact Home Helpers Today
Help yourself or your loved ones by connecting with professional caregivers. When you find yourself in an uncomfortable or potentially compromising financial situation, it is important to know who you can turn to for help and guidance.