Family Living Focus: Fight fraud that targets the elderly

Older people may be victims of fraud, such as con games, insurance scams, home repair scams, and /or telephone and internet scams. Even trusted friends or family members can steal an older person’s money or property. Trust what you feel. The following tips may help:

Be smart with your money.

• Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone on telephone salespeople. Remember, you can always say no to any offer. You aren’t being impolite – you are taking care of yourself!

• Don’t give any personal information, including your credit card number or bank account, over the phone unless you have made the phone call. Be careful when returning a sales call.

• Don’t take money from your bank account if a stranger tells you to. In one common swindle, a thief pretends to be a bank employee and asks you to take out money to “test” a bank teller. Banks do not check their employees this way.

• Don’t be fooled by deals that “are too good to be true.” They are often scams. Beware of deals that ask for a lot of money up front and promise you success. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to get more information about the reliability of a company.

• Do be on guard about hiring people that come door-to-door looking for home repair work. They may overcharge you. You should try to check their references. Always spell out the details of the work you want done in writing. Never pay for the whole job in advance.

Don’t become a victim. Fight fraud.


If you would like more information on “Fight Froud” feel free to contact Gail Gilman, Family Life Consultant, M.Ed., C.F.C.S. and Professor Emeritus – University of Minnesota at waldn001@umn.edu. Be sure to watch for more Family Living Focus™ information in next week’s paper.


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