We all know how important it is to plan ahead. As consumers, it’s important to know the risks that are out there, so we can safeguard our loved ones against possible threats. Whether you’re taking care of an aging parent or are an older adult, yourself, we’ve compiled some tips on What Older Adults Can Do To Protect Their Financial Security.
Protect Yourself Online
Protect yourself and loved ones from financial exploits by knowing the signs of fraud and how to take action against becoming a target. AARP claims that about 80% of telemarketing victims are over the age of 50. Here are a couple ways older adults can protect themselves online:
- Consult with a trusted family member or caregiver on the legitimacy of an email or other form of communication that is requesting your information. Do not give away sensitive information, unless it’s a trusted source.
- Consider using an ad-blocker to avoid being the victim of malicious advertising. We recommend using Adblock Plus, which is free and does not sell personal data to third parties.
Know the Common Types of Scams
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) tells us the most popular scams targeting seniors. In general, be on the lookout for:
- Medicare/health insurance scams
- Counterfeit prescription drugs
- Funeral/cemetery scams
- Fake or harmful anti-aging products
- Telemarketer scams
- Internet phishing
- Pyramid schemes/investment scams
- Mortgage scams
- Lottery/contest scams
- Family member impersonators
If You See It, Report It!
Report potential scams! More than 80% of online scams go unreported. By reporting potential fraudulent activity, you aren’t only protecting yourself but also others from becoming victims. Here is a list of places to report fraud:
- Telemarketing or phishing scams should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Fraudulent investment offers or theft of securities should be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Social security scams should be reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
- Online business scams should be reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- For more ways on protecting yourself from online threats, visit the FBI’s Scams and Safety page.
- For a useful guide on protecting yourself from online scams, check out this guide made for senior citizens.