The Oklahoma Bankers Association says there are three types of fraud occurring more frequently. Here are some suggestions for protecting seniors and your entire family:
Safeguard yourself or your family with the following advice:
Don’t buy from unfamiliar companies.
Don’t be pressured into buying something.
Get all information in writing, whether it’s an investment, a charity or a product sale. Ask for contact information. Give the information to a trustworthy person for a second opinion.
Do some research. Contact the Better Business Bureau, local consumer protection agency, state attorney general or National Fraud Information Center before doing business with any unfamiliar companies or organizations.
Don’t ever fall for the “free prize” line that many scammers use. If a caller says the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
Don’t commit to any investments before reviewing the information with a trusted friend, family member or financial advisor.
Never send money or give out personal information—such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth or Social Security numbers— to strangers.
Be careful when using an ATM machine to insure there is no one nearby trying to access your PIN number and “skim” your account.
Unfortunately, there are as many different scams as there are scammers. While these categories are on the rise, seniors should be vigilant at all times when being offered a deal that “won’t last” or requires them to “act now.” Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, close the front door or turn away from anyone, for any reason.
Protecting yourself or a loved one against financial fraud is serious business. If you need a trusted advisor, a CPA can help you analyze your current situation and determine the best course of action with regard to your personal financial plan.