- Sign Up for Direct Deposit at Your Bank
To avoid mail theft, avoid having checks mailed to your home. If you receive any checks on a regular basis—like social security, disability, or stock dividends—have those checks deposited directly.
- Reduce Telemarketer Calls to Avoid Senior Scams
Reduce the number of telemarketer calls you receive by registering with the federal government’s “Do Not Call Registry.” You can register your land line phone or cell phone with the “Do Not Call Registry” on-line or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
- Ignore Direct Mail Advertising to Avoid Senior Scams
Seniors are often the target of direct mail, which usually offers something for free or almost free but signs you up for further financial obligations. If you receive a notice saying you won a contest or a cruise, read the fine print carefully for hidden costs to make sure it’s not a senior scam. And if you decide to consider the offer, ask someone you trust for a second opinion before you sign up.
- Seniors: Look Out for Medicare Drug Discount Card Scams
Medicare drug discount cards are offered by a number of companies, and they can save you money. Unfortunately they are also popular with scam artists. The best way to enroll for a Medicare-approved discount card--and avoid a senior scam--is by contacting Medicare directly for a list of approved companies. You can do this on-line or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
- Assign a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives a trusted person of your choice the power to make key financial or life decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
- Avoid Disclosing Personal or Financial Information
Many senior scam perpetrators make calls or send e-mail on behalf of a financial institution. For example, they may say there’s a problem with your bank or credit card account and ask you to verify the account numbers. If you get one of these calls, ask for a name and phone number you can call back, and make that call to be sure you are dealing with a legitimate company. If you cannot verify that the request is legitimate, do not provide the information.