If there is one thing that we all try to avoid, it’s being scammed or ripped off.
What is truly troublesome is a scam that would ruin your future retirement and deplete all the money that you have contributed to it. Although we try to be diligent in detecting scammers, whether it is over the phone or via email, many of us still fall victim to it. When it comes to conmen trying to scam their next customer, they tend to target retirees and senior citizens as scammers know that this target audience tends to have a good amount of money in their savings accounts.
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans over the age of 65 have been victimized by financial rip-offs, according to a 2016 study from the Investor Protection Trust(Source).
“Swindlers and hackers pinched $16 billion from 12.7 million U.S. consumers in 2014”, according to Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2015 Identity Fraud Study (Source). That number is enough to want to take major initiatives to protect yourself, your family, and your bank accounts.
The Various Types of Fraud/Scams
When it comes to fraudulent activity, we often associate it with stolen money out of our bank account but there are other types of fraud that does not have to do directly with your bank account.
When your home needs renovations and updates, we usually call a contractor to do the job. A reputable contractor has a habit of overcharging, leaving you paying more money than you should. Some signs that a contractor is trying to rip you off is:
- Asking for money/cheque up front
- Entering your house without your permission (to steal)
- And trying to sell insurance claims to you
Sometimes, a doctor can try and lure you in in order to charge you more so that they themselves can benefit from Medicaid.
Other common types of fraud are: reverse mortgage, bereavement, and investment fraud.
Tips To Avoiding Scams
- Never e-transfer or wire money to someone you don’t know
- Never disclose your financial information/passwords/logins/pin numbers
- Don’t open suspicious emails
- Always use complicated passwords that only you know
- Install anti-virus programs on your computer
Always be skeptical of who you trust and always try to choose a company that is listed with the Better Business Bureau.
You work hard to save for retirement, so why not do everything you can to ensure that it is safe?