As people age they are often less able to recognize scams and swindles designed to cheat them out of their money. Con artists know this, and as more people reach retirement age many criminals are trying to take advantage of elderly people through any number of scams. Here are a few tips that can help you prevent falling victim to some of these common schemes.
Never send money.
Con artists will say anything to get you to send them money, and are very good at disguising their attempts in any number of ways. Whether you are promised to win money through a sweepstakes, are sent a check and asked to return a portion of it for “processing fees,” or are ever asked to send cash: refuse to do so. Legitimate sweepstakes, contest, and refunds will never ask you to send money.
Never give out personal information over the phone.
Con artists will also try to convince you that they represent a legitimate business, government agency, bank, or other organization in an attempt to get you to hand over your personal information. Never provide this information over the phone, even if the caller is claiming to only want to “verify” your account information.
Contact your lawyer.
Even if you receive a letter in the mail, you can’t always be sure it is from who it claims to be from. A lot of con artists will try to sound official and use official looking letterhead or symbols, so if you ever have a doubt you should contact your attorney and ask for assistance.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.