Seniors Today Newspaper
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Getting Educated About Scams

by Matilda Charles

There is a movement online among the children of seniors to instruct us about scams we might come across. All sorts of advice is being handed out to them about how to approach us with these scam facts, mostly falling in the gentle category to be sure we’re not offended by being told we could become a victim of a scam.

I can see where this could go. Amongst the advice about possible financial scams there could be suggestions that we perhaps turn the management of our money over to others. Perhaps it would mean someone else would balance our checkbook each month to verify just where our money is going.
I don’t think so.

The way around this—should these types of discussions come to your house via well-meaning others—is to be one step ahead and be very well versed in the typical scams that are aimed at seniors.

In a banking scam, you know not to click any e-mail links or give any information over the phone. You hang up and call the bank directly to ask if they called you.

In the charity scams, you’ll be asked to give money over the phone. Don’t do it. If you want to give, send a check directly to the charity.
In the grandparent scam, a fake grandchild will call and say he’s in trouble and needs bail money. No, you’ll simply hang up.

No, the IRS will never call and insist you make a payment with gift cards.
In the romance scam where a fake online love interest suddenly needs cash, you won’t hand over a single dime. Period.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has helpful resources about how to recognize and avoid these kinds of scams and what to do if you are victimized. You can reach them online at www.myflori daleagal.com/ScamsAtAGlance