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Safety Tips for Seniors

They are called the "golden years," a time for senior citizens to finally enjoy their retirement years and their hard-earned “gold” they’ve worked all their lives for. But a senior also has a new set of safety concerns to deal with such as avoiding criminals who want to scam seniors out of social security benefits and savings, as well as staying healthy with Medicare or other health care. Criminals often regard older persons as easy targets for many types of crimes. Every elderly person should be aware of these crimes and how to prevent them.

Family and friends can help, but seniors need to gather their own information to protect themselves from being taken advantage of. Please read the safety tips below.

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  • Read and understand any contract before you sign it. Always use license contractors. Check references and check them through the Better Business Bureau. Never pay for work senpic2before it is completed.

  • Give out your credit card number only when you initiate the transaction or when you know the merchants or deal with them on a regular basis.
     
  • Never pay for anything you did not order or do not want.
     
  • Avoid get rich-quick schemes. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
     
  • Do not enter a contest or accept free gifts or prizes unless you clearly understand your obligations.
     
  • Never open your door to strangers including door to door solicitors. Use the window or peep hole to see who is at the door talk through a locked door. Be alert to persons claiming to work fro a utility company (i.e. electric, gas, water cable) if you did not call the utility company with a problem. That person should not need to enter your home. Ask for a telephone number and call to verify that person’s identity. If you think something is not right or that person refuses to leave call the police immediately.
     
  • No one should ask you will ever ask you to take money out of your account, or ask for the secret code to your ATM card. If anyone asks you to do so call the police (911). Some common fraud schemes include people posing as police officers or bank employees
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  • Never allow someone to look over your shoulder while you use your ATM card or your senipicsecret code.

  • Never give you’re social security number or other personal financial information to someone that knocks on your door or calls you on the phone.
     
  • Hang up immediately on all telemarketing calls received before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00p.m. These calls are a sure sign of a rip-off, and they violate the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
     
  • Hang up on callers posing as officials of U.S. Customs and Border Protection who say they’ve received an international parcel for you and you must authorize a fee over the telephone to get the parcel delivered. This government agency will never make such a call
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  • Check out a charity before you give. Read up on it at the library or on the web. Call the charity to find out if it has authorized the use of its name. If the telemarketer claims that the charity will support local organizations, call the local groups to verify. Be extra careful of requests for help that follow disasters. Make out your check to the charity itself, not to theseniorpc caller, and mail it to the charity’s listed address.

  • If you buy lottery tickets, buy only those issued in the United States. Almost all foreign sweepstake and lottery ticket offers, including the huge number that originate in Canada, are fake and, in addition, it’s against the law to participate by phone or mail in these cross border frauds.
     
  • Wire money only to family members or people you have known for a long time. Wiring money is as good as sending cash, and you may be helping a crook who has defrauded you make a quick getaway.
     
  • Order a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting bureaus. You can order all three reports at the same time or order one now and the other later (for example, one credit report every four months). Your free credit reports can be obtained on the web at www.annualcreditreport.com or by phone at 877-322-8228. Do not contact each bureau individually for a free report.
     
  • Buy insurance from someone you trust. Buy only what you really want need and can afford
     
  • Never carry large sums of money. Have retirement, social security or other checks automatically deposited into your bank account. Pay your bills by check.
     
  • If you, or an elderly or disabled person that you know are being abused, neglected, or exploited, report it to your local Police Department. In an emergency, you may need to call 911. The law protects you if you act in good faith with the desire to help

 

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