Read the fine print to avoid senior scams

Take financial precautions by reading the fine printIn Los Angeles, much of the mail seniors are receiving is for things that the senior is most likely not looking to sign-up for or purchase.  It is important, as your loved ones age, to take a more active role in their daily living activities and for some of us with aging parents and grandparents that means even going through the mail together.  As younger adults we may be a little keener to that which we need to avoid to protect our financial security and identity.  Some seniors, for whatever reasons you’d like to attribute it to, are more apt to “buy-in” to the scammers attempts to collect information.  Many offers for products and services will come as advertisement in the mail.  Some of the advertisements will be for legitimate businesses and things that the senior may be interested in incorporating into their lives, while other things that come in the mail are really just a way to scam a senior out of hundreds or thousands of dollars by obtaining their financial information or identity.

Things to look out for:

  • Companies you’ve never heard of
  • No return address or number to call for information
  • Request for Social Security and other personal, not needed data
  • No logos or company letterhead
  • Offer that is too good to be true

Some companies are just small or are out of the area and that is why you haven’t heard of them before receiving something in the mail, but many times if the letter doesn’t seem to come with a way to look them up if you were so minded (an address, telephone number, company letterhead, etc.) chances are that you are looking at a piece of mail that may be phishing for information.  A senior should read the fine print before ordering anything through the mail.  Sometimes, by providing the credit card or bank account information it will sign you up for a recurring purchase or donation or it is an introductory offer that after a period of time will begin costing the senior much more than he or she realized.  In some, worst case scenarios, a legally binding document to try to obtain any assets at the time of death (donating anything that is not allocated) can come with a membership or signing up.  It can be that serious.

Seniors who are fully capable to review their mail and make good judgment calls and decisions based on their own judgment should most likely not need your assistance before signing up for something, answering an advertisement or making a donation, but if you feel like there is a need for another set of eyes to take a look, ask your senior aged loved one to hang onto any mail or reply correspondence before sending it out.  It is always best to be better safe than sorry.  Undoing the damage of financial scam or identity theft is much harder than keeping a watchful eye and taking precautions.  Senior scams are on the rise as opportunists are always looking for the next way to swindle.

For help with senior scams or other issues, contact the Martinian Law Firm at 888-847-9821

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