September 26, 2018
The fastest growing segment of the population in the United States are older adults. This group is uniquely vulnerable to financial scams. Con artists find them as attractive prey because older adults are thought to have a “nest egg,” have excellent credit, won’t say “no” because they were raised to be polite and trusting, are less likely to report the fraud for fear of appearing to have a weakened mental capacity because they were taken advantage or they do not know how to report it. Older adults need to be aware and prepared to protect themselves from financial fraud.
Some tips for avoiding fraud include:
• Always ask for and wait until you receive written information about any unfamiliar company/organization/charity or offer for products.
• Obtain the salesperson’s name, title, contact information and business license number and verify through the Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, National Fraud Information Center or other consumer protection agencies.
• Do not pay in advance for services. Only pay upon delivery of services.
• Always take your time in making a decision. Do not give into the pressure to make a snap decision.
• Do not pay for a “free prize.”
• Never give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, date of birth, social security number or insurance/Medicare ID number to unfamiliar companies, unknown persons or unsolicited offers.
• Never sign blank forms or authorizations.
If it is too good to be true, it is probably a scam and should be reported to state, local or federal law enforcement agencies. Include the name, date and time of the call, the details of your conversation and phone number. You can also report a scam at ftc.gov/complaint.
Visit http://www.mycreditunion.gov/fraud or additional information is available by contacting Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, email@example.com or in the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton. Follow us on Facebook @ChouteauCountyExtension to keep up to date on what is happening in Chouteau County Extension and 4-H.
Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.