We’ve all received the phone call alerting us to the fact that we have been the “lucky recipients of a 10-day trip of a lifetime” or “the selected winner of a hefty sum of money.” However, these calls typically require you to send your bank account
information, social security number, birthdate and other personal information. This then leads to a financial disaster.
According to the Investor Protection Trust, almost one in five Americans over the age of 65, or nearly seven million seniors, have been taken advantage of financially, either by an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services or fraud.
Financial fraud is a major issue in the United States but there are several preventative steps that can be taken to ensure your money and information stays safe.
- Be skeptical. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
- Keep Personal Information Private. Never give out personal or banking information unless you are the one that initiated the call. All info should be kept private unless going to a trusted source.
- Shred unwanted personal information. Bank statements, credit card statements, and even receipts should be shredded immediately after use.
- Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Do your research before providing payment.
- Ask for written verification. Ask for specific information about salesperson, including name, business identity, telephone number, address, and business license number before conducting business.
As the saying goes, “It is always better to be safe, than sorry.” If a phone call, e-mail, or mailer seem too good to be true, be skeptical and do your research before conducting business!