Financial Advisor Brenda Pollock shares tips on avoiding financial scams.
PORTLAND, Maine – Part 1
Evergreen Credit Union financial advisor Brenda Pollock says seniors are often the targets of financial scams because they are believed to have more money in a savings account.
Pollock started a seminar on financial abuse for seniors and shared some of the top scams to watch out for.
Financial scams targeting the elderly are widespread and harmful. According to Pollock, the FBI estimates that seniors lose nearly $ 3 billion each year to financial fraud. Scammers prey on older people because they think older people have a large amount of money in their savings accounts, Pollock said. And it’s not just wealthy seniors who are being targeted.
Pollock suggests simplifying your finances so that there are fewer accounts to watch and setting aside a specific time to review them each week or month. She said to authorize your financial institution (s) to contact one or two trusted persons in the event of suspicious financial activity.
Pollock also said that it is developing a method for your trusted people to monitor your accounts online so that they can also review your accounts regularly and appoint a financial attorney who can be well prepared to step in if you become ill or disabled.
Pollock also shared the following tips:
- Avoid online offers for coronavirus remedies or faster access to vaccines. They are not legitimate.
- Don’t click links or download files from unexpected emails, text messages and unknown websites.
- Do not share personal information such as social security, health insurance, and credit card numbers in response to an unsolicited call, text, or email.
- Ignore phone calls or emails from strangers asking you to invest in a new stock of a company working on coronavirus-related products or services.
- Never pay a fee to claim a prize you are claimed to have won.
- Do not transfer money or share gift card numbers with anyone.
- Do not provide any personal or financial information to anyone.
- Do not deposit supposed winnings that come in the form of a partial payout.
- And don’t call a number with an 876, 809, or 284 area code to confirm you’ve won a prize. These codes belong to the Caribbean countries and have become hotbeds of telephone scams.
Financial scams targeting the elderly are widespread and harmful. The FBI estimates that seniors lose over $ 3 billion each year to financial fraud. Scammers prey on the elderly because they think that the elderly have a large amount of money in their savings accounts. But it’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted. Evergreen Financial Advisor Brenda Pollock is here to discuss this topic.
Brenda, in Part 1 of this series we discussed the government scams, the grandparents scam, medicare and medicare scams, and how more than half of all financial abuse against the elderly is by parents and caregivers.
Financial abuse is a rapidly growing form of abuse of the elderly and adults with disabilities. Amanda, by 2030, 20% of the total US population will be people aged 65 and over, and those aged 85 and over rank among the fastest growing populations in the country. It is so important for seniors to be aware of the various forms of financial abuse and to protect themselves by knowing what to look for and who to report it to.
Computer tech support scams exploit people’s lack of knowledge about computers and the cyber city. These scams can be very costly for their victim.
During the pandemic, we do more online – work, connecting with family and friends, shopping and banking. So if something is wrong with your computer, you want to fix it immediately. The crooks take advantage of this, offering bogus technical support services. Here’s what you need to know about tech support scams.
- They want to sell you unnecessary services, steal your credit card number, or install malware that allows them to see everything on your computer.
- A pop-up window will appear on your computer screen with a security problem message asking you to call a phone number for help. No.
- You receive an email stating that your Zoom account has been suspended or that you missed a meeting. If you click on the link, it will install malware.
It all seemed very easy not to view them as a potential scam. How do you avoid these tech support scams?
Never, ever, ever give control of your computer to someone who contacts you out of the blue.
Don’t click links in pop-up windows or unsolicited emails. Instead, go to the company’s site by typing in its URL.
Maintain your antivirus software. Use reliable antivirus security software and make sure to update it regularly.
Be aware that legitimate tech companies won’t contact you by phone, email, or text to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.
Robotic calls and phone scams seem to affect not only the elderly, but everyone who has a phone as well.
Automated calls take advantage of sophisticated telephone technology to call large numbers of homes from anywhere in the world. We have all received this call to let us know that a warranty is expiring on their car and payment is required to renew it. Another popular robocall is the “Can you hear me?” »Swindle. When you say yes, the scammer hangs up after recording your voice, thus obtaining a voice signature to authorize unwanted charges on things like stolen credit cards.
As more and more people use the internet for dating, scammers see it as an opportunity to find their next victim through romantic scams.
Swindlers in love create elaborate fake profiles, often on social media, and exploit the loneliness of older people for money. In some cases, romantic con artists may (or pretend to be) overseas and ask for money to pay for visas, medical emergencies, and travel expenses to come and visit the United States. a senior’s money – the FTC found that in 2019 alone, seniors lost nearly $ 84 million to dating scams.
It’s hard to imagine that there are other scams out there, but there are more. You also want to make people aware of charity scams.
Charity scams rely on the goodwill of older people to pocket the money they claim to be raising for a good cause. Often times, they use a name very similar to that of a legitimate charity. They capitalize on current events, such as natural disasters, and can create a fundraising page on a crowdsourcing site. Charity scammers will likely insist that you donate immediately. No. And whenever someone requests payment through gift cards or money transfers, hang up the phone.
What to do if you suspect you have been scammed?
Don’t be afraid or be shy to talk it over with someone you trust. You are not alone and there are people who can help you.
Office of Aging and Disability Services—
Adult protection services
Provides services to protect 2 incapacitated and / or dependent adults.
Legal Services for Seniors
Provides free, high quality legal services to socially and economically needy seniors in Maine aged 60 and over.
Local Aging Agency
Provides answers on aging and access to resources that help older people and people with disabilities
live well in their homes and communities.
If you have any other questions or concerns, contact
a representative of your financial institution.