Learning about the common risks and schemes in this day and age can mean the difference between you or your loved ones remaining protected or playing right into the tricks of scam artists.
Health Insurance Scams
As a citizen who is older than 65, you qualify for Medicare benefits, which can make you a fairly easy target for health insurance-related scams. Scammers are able to carry out fraudulent behavior over the phone or even at the door utilizing insurance provider information, which they can acquire fairly easily.
A few common situations to be aware of include being told that you need a new Medicare card and in order to receive one you’d need to provide your Social Security information or discussions of new supplemental policies.
1. Investment Scams
Many retirees are interested in expanding their wealth, especially if they have a legacy to one day leave behind, which can make this group easy prey for faux “investment opportunities” that may not exist at all. Whether it’s offering their finances to a fictional business or buying a vacation property that isn’t real, investment scams have the potential to deplete retirees of their savings in a flash.
2. Internet & Email Scams
Because so many retirees and those of older generations aren’t always accustomed to the ever-changing details involved with the internet, these schemes have become incredibly common. Phishing scams, viral pop-ups and attempts to steal one’s identity are a few examples of something you may encounter. It’s important to keep in mind that no bank or other business will ask for personal information via email. If you are ever concerned or unsure visit their website directly or contact them for additional confirmation.
3. Charity Scams
We all know that natural disasters are often unpredictable and happen regularly. With these occurrences, scammers find opportunities to target those who have been affected or want to offer their support. These situations can occur over the phone, through social media, email or in person. Always donate to reputable charities and learn more using the IRS’s tax-exempt organization search.
4. Help/Grandparent Scams
This scenario often consists of someone calling or emailing the victim either pretending to be a family member in trouble or acting as a person of authority representing the relative. They then ask for money to be wired to cover certain fees, which you may be all too happy to provide as someone who is emotionally involved. In order to keep the situation under wraps, you may then be asked not to tell anyone and soon after will never hear from the “relative” again, leaving you out of a particular amount of money.
If you find yourself to be a victim of any of the scenarios above it’s important to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. By doing so you may be able to retrieve your funds, but you will ultimately be helping a potential victim from experiencing a similar situation.