There are a number of money scams that all senior citizens should be fully aware of. In this day and age it is just too easy to get taken advantage of if you don’t have the right information. The more you learn about these scams and how to avoid them, the better your can protect yourself. Each year thousands of older people throughout the UK get swindled out of their money from unscrupulous scammers, but there are numerous things you can do to not become a victim.
1. Realize That Everyone is a Potential Scam Artist
While many elder people are taken advantage of by complete strangers, sometimes it is their own family they have to worry about. You should always be sceptical of anyone who tries to separate you from your money, even if it is someone you are related to. Whether it is your children or grandchildren, you need to keep this in mind. It may come in the form of a “great investment” deal or a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme. The point is that you should always be suspicious when it seems like someone is after your hard-earned money.
2. Stay Active and Involved
One of the most effective ways to keep from becoming the victim of a money scam is to stay active instead of just sitting at home all day. Those who have an active social life are less likely to fall prey to a money scam. Sometimes older people fall for these scams simply because they are lonely and happy to have someone interact with them. The less isolated you are, the safer you will be.
3. Always Turn Away Solicitors
If someone comes to your door or cold calls you at home trying to sell you something, you should immediately refuse. This is not a tactic that is used by most reputable companies and organizations. You should be extremely wary of anyone who tries to sell you something over the phone. While there is a chance they are legitimate, it’s not worth taking the risk.
4. Destroy Documents with Sensitive Information
You should make a point of shredding any paper documents that have any sensitive financial or personal information, such as your credit card number. Those who throw this information in the trash without thoroughly destroying it first put themselves at risk for identity theft. You make it much easier for scam artists to take advantage of you if you don’t do this regularly. Invest in a good shredder that has a cross cut feature.
5. Have Your Name Added to a Do Not Call List
If you want to put an end to annoying solicitation calls, you can opt to have your name put on the Do Not Call List. While some calls from salespeople might still get through, it should drastically reduce them. This is really something that people of all ages should do, if for no other reason than to be able to eat dinner in peace each day.
6. Opt for Direct Deposit
If you receive benefits cheques from the government, it is a good idea to opt for direct deposit. Receiving paper cheques raises your risk of being targeted by scammers. Someone can still the check right out of your mail box, which is the last thing you want to deal with.
7. Don’t Give Out Your Personal Details Unless You Need to
Giving out your personal and financial details to the wrong people can land you in a nightmare of a situation. It is a good idea to only do this with people you know and trust. It is especially important to never give out this kind of information over the phone to anyone at all.
8. Never Accept an Unsolicited Offer Right Away
If you have received an unsolicited offer of any kind, you should always do the proper research before making a final decision. It’s never a good idea to give any solicitor your money before you take the time to vet them. This will help you stay safe from those who would try to take your money without giving you anything in return.
Because of all the different money scams that exist in the world, it is important that you educate yourself as much as possible. The information in this article could help you keep from being taken advantage of financially, whether it is by a complete stranger or someone close to you. One of the best things to keep in mind is to never give your money to anyone unless you trust them and have a very good reason for doing so. Make sure that you do your research before investing in anything so that you can minimize your risk as much as possible.