- Older adults lose millions of dollars every year through financial scams.
- Memory loss further increases the risk of being a victim of fraud.
- Overly trusting or friendly with strangers
- Recent traumatic or stressful event
- Confused when speaking on the phone
- Making frequent or larger than normal donations to familiar or new charities
- Post a “no solicitation” sign on the front door and do not answer the door for strangers or salespeople.
- Forward mail to a reliable family member to screen if it is difficult to distinguish junk mail from important documents, if bills pile up, or if needed mail is misplaced.
- Answer the phone only if the name and/or number are recognized on caller ID.
- Install reputable computer anti-viruses, firewall protection, and email spam filters.
- Review the annual credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com for duplicate payments or large purchases.
- Suspect fraud? Call AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center at 800-646-2283.
- Enroll with National Do Not Call Registry: www.donotcall.gov
- Opt out of unwanted mail: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicitedmail-phone-calls-and-email
- Read the website document Coming Closer for more information.
- Consider the following if there is concern over someone’s ability to manage money, putting them at risk for scams:
- Establish a joint bank account with the Financial Power of Attorney who can monitor activity.
- Ask a financial advisor to discuss any requested investment changes with the Financial Power of Attorney.
- Set alerts on bank accounts for withdrawals over a certain amount.
- Reduce limits on credit cards.
- Consider removing checks and debit cards. It may help to keep a small amount of cash and even a cancelled credit card in the wallet.
- Remove access to Social Security and Medicare cards.