Older adults often fall prey to savvy criminals that build trust and confidence in schemes that involve romance, sweepstakes, tech support and government impersonations, among others. Each year, the elderly population racks up more than $3 billion in losses annually, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Place yourself on the National Do Not Call Registry, which gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls and how to report unwanted calls.
Resist the pressure to act immediately because scammers often use this as a tactic to lure victims to spring into action. It is best to call a family member, or even the police, if you feel as if you or your life is in danger.
Technology such as email and social media help seniors stay in contact with loved ones, but it is also how you can be attacked. Be sure all malware software is up to date for computer viruses, make sure your passwords are secure and encrypted, and be wary of distant or estranged relatives and friends who appear suddenly.
Never share personally identifiable information such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, security questions or passwords with anyone except your care manager or power of attorney.
Lastly, keep a close watch on all your bank accounts to keep an eye on any suspicious activity. You will also want to monitor your credit report for any new credit cards and loans that you did not authorize.
Staying ahead of the issue will help prevent fraudulent attacks. Remember, if you question the legitimacy of the request or transaction, be sure to contact your loved ones or the local police to report it.
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