Scams are a problem for all of us, and we need to keep our eyes on the look out for them, but our seniors can be especially vulnerable.
Elizabeth Zeldes, a CPA is here to talk about how to stay out of trouble.
- Why are seniors a target?
· Access to cash in the form of retirement savings.
· More likely to have a landline and be home during the day making them more accessible.
· Older adults are sometimes more trusting or polite than other age groups.
- Let's talk about the Recent Equifax breach
· Check to see if you were one of the victims by going to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. If so, consider putting a credit freeze or 90 day fraud alert on your account with all three credit reporting agencies by calling: Equifax — 1-800-349-9960 Experian — 1-888-397-3742 Transunion — 1-888-909-8872
- What else should you do?
Always check your credit card and bank statements carefully and regularly check your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- How do scammers do it?
· "Phishing" e-mail that looks like it is from a bank or legitimate business, complete with the logo. It states there is a problem or question about an order and asks the recipient to click on a link or open an attachment to get more information, which opens up the victim's computer to the scammer.
· The telephone is still a common device used for scams and criminals are now able to "spoof" Caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from an organization you know, such as a utility company or government agency.
· Requests from questionable charities and notices of lottery winnings can come by phone or mail.
- What are some Current scams in West Michigan
· Phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS, Michigan State Trooper or the court system demanding payment.
· Phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be family or friend in trouble and is in need of money.
· Imposters demanding payment for Consumers Energy bill immediately.
· Phone sales of fake or overpriced Personal Emergency Response Systems.
· False computer message of a virus and phone calls from Microsoft imposter that software license needs to be renewed.
· Solicitations for questionable charities
· Delivery of a bogus gift intended to steal credit card information.
When you learn about a scam tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your family and spread the word. The more we talk about scams, the harder it will be for the criminals to carry them out.