You can avoid scams by creating a partnership with a trusted family member or advisor. You don’t disclose any financial information to them. To create this partnership, simply commit that you will talk to each other before making any new, unusual or even infrequent financial commitments.
What qualifies for this discussion? Well, you can skip your regular grocery shopping and bill paying, but beyond that commit to mentioning any expense before you make it. Need a new roof? Did a charity call you on the phone for a donation? Did a grandchild call with an emergency money need? Whatever it is, talk about it.
Search out more information online. If you are not sure how to get good information online, find a trusted friend to help. Look for both good and bad reviews for anyone new that you are thinking of giving or paying money to. From your trusted family member or advisor, listen to any questions they might ask about it. If, after a few questions, you are both comfortable go ahead with the transaction. If not, get more information before proceeding or just don’t do it.
This process can go a long way in helping you and your partner from getting scammed. You can help others by reporting any attempted scam to 877-382-4357 or www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. If you suffered a financial loss, report it to your local law enforcement. For more information, see the Seniors Guide for Fighting Fraud on the MN Attorney General’s site. http://www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/publications/seniorsguidefightfraud.asp