From data breaches to text messages, emails, and phone calls, scammers are always looking for new ways to scam you out of your savings. Financial fraud can devastate retirement plans, so it’s important to stay one step ahead of scammers and keep your guard up to protect yourself and your retirement savings.
On this episode, we’re discussing several types of scams to be on the lookout for and how you can protect yourself from the conmen that are constantly devising new ways to ruin people’s lives.
Elder fraud is one of the biggest types of fraud
Everyone is vulnerable to scammers, but the elderly are targeted more than any other group of people. Conmen prey on people’s emotions, generosity, goodwill, and loneliness.
You can help protect aging family members from fraud by asking pointed questions to encourage them to keep their guard up. If they will allow it, consider helping your elderly relatives check their bank and credit card statements regularly.
No one wants their loved ones to fall prey to these scams. However, if they do, it is important not to shame the victim. Being scammed is humiliating, and many are embarrassed to admit that they have been a victim. This embarrassment could lead victims to be cheated out of even more money. Be supportive and help them work through their situation.
Types of fraud
Although data breaches get the most press, there are many different types of fraud that are constantly evolving. Common types of cons are health care scams, phone calls, text messages, emails, and romantic scams.
It is important to be cautious when forming new romantic relationships. One way romantic scams begin is with the swindler accessing your bank account through wire transfers by initially transferring money into your bank account. It is only after they have your confidence that they try to rip you off.
How to protect yourself from fraud
Data breaches occur all the time, so it is safe to assume that your data can be easily accessed by criminals. Since scammers have access to a certain amount of your data, they are looking for various ways to access even more information. There are many ways that you can protect yourself from fraud.
- Change your passwords regularly by using difficult passwords. (Never use 1234 or password as your password!)
- Make sure that you have anti-virus software on your computer and keep your computer updated.
- Limit the amount of money that you keep in your checking account.
- Setting up multi-factor authentication on your accounts can offer an extra step of protection.
- Monitor your credit report. Credit Karma is one tool that you can use to help with this.
- Don’t give personal information to those you don’t know.
- Don’t rush into decisions that you are unsure of. Stop and take a few deep breaths or even sleep on it and take another day to make big decisions.
- Turn off the debit card feature of your checking account.
Fraud is a sophisticated organized crime
It is important to remember that fraud is a carefully calculated organized crime. There are people working 24/7 to try and access your personal and financial information. These criminals are constantly upping their game and getting better at manipulating unwitting victims, so it is important to stay vigilant so that you don’t become a victim. Listen in to hear more ways that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from fraud.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:12] Elder fraud is an egregious form of fraud
- [6:47] Victim shaming can make things worse
- [9:43] Be cautious about new romantic relationships
- [10:58] Ways that you can protect yourself from scams
- [18:38] Is a credit freeze a good idea if you have been a victim of fraud?
- [19:56] The progress principles
Resources & People Mentioned
- Humble Dollar article – Be Suspicious
- The Tinder Swindler
- Reply All podcast – Episode #102 Long Distance
- Common Scam Frauds – www.usa.gov
- Credit Karma
- Report fraud to the FTC
- Dr. Phil episode – International Timeshare scam bankrupts Mom
- Be on the Alert for Text Message Scams – Financial Symmetry
- Fighting Elderly Fraud – Financial Symmetry
- Romance Scams hit $547 million in 2021 – FTC
Connect With Chad and Mike
- Connect on Twitter @csmithraleigh @TeamFSINC
- Follow Financial Symmetry on Facebook