Protect your golden years against common scams
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Protect yourself and your retirement from common scams.
We think your golden years should be just that. However, scammers are targeting senior citizens more and more often in person, over the phone, and online. Threats come in all shapes and sizes and may not always be easy to spot. That's why we've compiled a list of scams against seniors that we have seen in our communities, as well as helpful resources to spot things that may seem too good to be true. Common scams against seniors include:
Health Care Fraud and Medical Identity Theft
Scammers may steal one's personal information (including Social Security number or Medicare number) to secure prescriptions or medical treatment. This can result in damaged credit, incorrect medical records, and wasted taxpayer dollars. Protect your medical identity by never sharing your Social Security number or Medicare number with strangers or untrusted parties.
If you believe you are a victim of Health Care Fraud or Medical Identity Theft, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' website to report it.
You receive a letter in the mail that says you are the lucky winner along with a check! You are instructed to call a number on the letter and are then instructed to deposit the check, keep an amount for yourself, and return the balance to pay for “taxes” or “fees”. Ask your bank for assistance before depositing such a check. Chances are the check is fake.
In this common scenario, your perfect match asks you for assistance with a financial matter. They just want your bank and account information so you can help them deposit funds. They tell you to keep a small amount for your troubles and return the remainder to them. Then your bank calls to tell you the check he or she sent to you was returned. Now you owe your bank the money and your new found match no longer responds to your calls. Or, after romancing you for months, and a promise to marry you in the near future, they ask you to help them with paying a bill, making a down payment on your engagement ring or house purchase. For this purchase, they instruct you to wire funds to another unknown third party. Stop! Please ask your banker for assistance before proceeding with any such request.
Work at home employment opportunities
Scammers will often utilize legitimate job sites to search for victims, including sites like Monster.com or Indeed.com. An applicant will be asked for their resume, to write essays, and is even interviewed. Typically, the applicant is asked to open a new account, to have reliable transportation, and be near a Western Union location. Beware of job postings with these requirements. In a work at home scam you are sent money via check, wire or ACH and are instructed to return a portion back to your employer. Unfortunately, the check wire or ACH was sent fraudulently.
Learn more about these scams, and others, with these trusted resources: