The holiday season can be a joyous time to connect with loved ones, attend religious services (virtually or online), and exchange gifts. Unfortunately, it also can be a time when we’re left more vulnerable to financial scams. Although seniors aren’t the only ones who may fall for financial scams, they definitely are more vulnerable than many other population groups.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other government agencies are warning consumers on how to avoid several scams this holiday season. Here are a few to help your senior loved one to avoid—and to watch out for yourself:
1. Work from home—and pay for the opportunity. With the pandemic continuing on, more and more people are seeking employment they can do from home. One type of work-from-home opportunity touts that it can help you start an online business from home, and then you have to pay some upfront costs for a training system related to the business. Once you pay for that, you often get pressured to pay for more services, although you never actually get anything to help start a business or make money, the FTC reports.
Encourage senior loved ones who are looking for a work-from-home opportunity to research business in advance through the Better Business Bureau. Remind them that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t real.
2. Social Security calls. Scammers may call your senior loved one and say they are from Social Security. They may ask for sensitive financial or personal information, including banking information or credit card numbers. Unfortunately, these scammers will use fake phone numbers so they can’t be traced. Encourage your senior loved ones to hang up if they receive these calls, and let them know how they can block calls from certain phone numbers.
3. Special delivery. Delivery scams proliferate during the holiday season for the obvious reason—people are ordering more items by mail or are expecting gifts. With this scam, you receive an email that says it’s from a big delivery service (such as Amazon) and that a package you ordered is delayed. The email will say they need more information from you and provide a link for you to click on. However, once you click on that link, scammers may install malware on your computer. Or, the site may have you type in personal information and then use that information for fraudulent purposes.
To help senior loved ones avoid this risk, encourage them to verify package status directly on the website where an order was made. Also, encourage them to double-check the sender’s email address. Scammers often use an email that does not match the email format used by legitimate delivery businesses.
Always encourage your senior loved ones to not share valuable personal and financial information over the phone. This tip alone can go a long way in helping them to avoid financial scams.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Financial Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients’ age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.