Watch Out For Scammers: Protect Your Parent’s Money And Assets.

December 6, 2010; By: Audrey Miller
All About Estates

Unfortunately, it is most often seniors who are targeted as victims of a scam. Criminals target seniors because they believe that seniors are lonely, lack family support, are old, vulnerable, and may have health-related issues such as Alzheimer’s disease. The RCMP say that seniors are particularly susceptible to telephone fraud because their generation tends to be more trusting and less likely to hang up the telephone on someone who appears to be very friendly.

The best defense we can have against persons who are trying to scam us is to know how to recognize a scam when we see one. The following are some key signs that the information being presented is a scam:

*It sounds too good to be true
*You must pay a fee to be eligible to receive your prize.
*You must give them your private financial information
*You must pay by cash or a money order
*The caller is more excited than you are – he or she wants you to get so excited that you won’t be able to think clearly
*The person calling claims to be a government official, tax officer, banking official, lawyer or some other person in authority. The person calls you by your first name and asks you a lot of personal or lifestyle questions
*The stranger calling wants to become your best friend
*It’s a limited opportunity and you’re going to miss out. If you are pressured to make a big purchase decision immediately, it’s probably not a legitimate deal.

Remember, clients always have the right to check out any company by requesting written information, a call back number, references and time to think over the offer. Seniors should always be careful about providing confidential personal information, especially banking or credit card details unless certain the company is legitimate. If in doubt, it’s wise to ask the advice of a close friend or relative, lawyer or even the bank.

In many cases, it is up to the consumer to protect themselves against fraud. If you suspect that you or your loved one may be a target of fraud, don’t be embarrassed – you’re not alone. Report it to the police. Be careful this holiday season. If it is too good to be true, it is not….

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