Each day there are more and more scams affecting the ones we love. Financial elder abuse is on the rise as scammers continue to target vulnerable seniors. With increased information on the Internet today, more of our personal information can be used to take advantage of us. Here are some great tips to reduce financial elder abuse:
Good general tips/reminders to prevent fraud:
- Never give out personal information to anyone on the phone, mail or internet
- Never respond to an offer that you do not understand
- Ask for it in writing and pay only when you have received a performed service
- Do not toss credit card receipts or statements in the trash whole – ALWAYS SHRED IT!
Healthcare & health insurance Fraud
- Guard your cards (Medicare, Social Security, and Credit Card Numbers) – Do not give the information on any of these cards to just anyone.
- Do not sign blank insurance forms or give blanket authorizations.
- Do not do business with telephone or door-to-door salespeople.
- Check with your doctor if your prescription bottle looks suspicious.
- Medicare will not call you.
Investments & Reverse Mortgage Scams
- Do not respond to unsolicited requests.
- Do not sign any documents from unsolicited persons.
- Be wary of anybody offering a free deal.
Funeral & Cemetery Fraud
- Don’t let the salespeople pressure you into immediate purchases.
- Understand contract terms, basic fees and extra services.
- Phone and Computer Scams- if it sounds too good to be true, hang up or log off.
- Hang up if you hear phrases “free,” ‘’low cost,” or “act now.”
- Don’t buy from unknown companies.
- Don’t pay for anything until you receive it.
- Grandparent phone scam- Caller masquerades as your grandchild saying they are in trouble and need money. Tips to Reduce Financial Elder Abuse
- IRS phone scam- Caller masquerades as IRS you saying you owe back taxes- or a person acting as a detective that there is a warrant out for your arrest.
- Do not disclose any personal or financial information.
- Check and see that the charity is registered with the state. Qualified charities will not ask for all this information.
Remember to check on elderly neighbors if they live alone or maybe their children live far away. If you start to notice another car in their driveway or a new friend- check it out. You can always call the Orange County Adult Protective Services (APS) if you feel something is not right and APS will perform a wellness check on your neighbor to make sure they are not being taken advantage of. If we look out for each other we can help stop some of the abuse that we hear about each day.
- If you are unsure – Call First. There are many resources for you.
- Adult Protective Services (APS) 1-800-451-5155
- Local Police- Economic Crimes Division
- Council on Aging (714) 479-0107 (Council on Aging Orange County, CA)
By MEGAN PIERPONT, Wealth Manager @ Apriem Advisors
Tips to Reduce Financial Elder Abuse
Tips to Reduce Financial Elder Abuse Tips to Reduce Financial Elder Abuse