Personal Fraud Protection - For Baby Boomers
How baby boomers can be protected from fraud. Isn’t it true that everyone needs to be alert to those people who make their living byVery typical Boomers
relieving us of our money in a fraudulent manner? Unfortunately being vigilant concerning fraud has become a fact of live. Also, many times graduating from the School of Hard Knocks is the way we learn how to protect ourselves from fraud.
Now that baby boomers are retiring all kinds of legitimate goods and services are being developed to cater to boomers. With the huge number of boomers retiring on a daily basis, boomer related businesses are very profitable.
By the same token, there a bunch of fraudulent endeavors out there, which are designed to take advantage of baby boomers.Two Categories of Boomer Fraud.
In this post I’d like discuss two types of fraud that boomers need to beware of. They are Identity Theft and Financial Fraud. Again everyone needs to be watchful of these types of fraud. The thing is that when boomers fall victim to these types of fraud, and they are on a fixed retirement income, boomers very often cannot recover from the lose of funds, that is a result of the fraud.Identity Theft.
I think we all know that identity theft occurs when our personal information falls into the hands of criminals. That information may be on paper documents, or on our computers, and mobile devices. Any documents containing vital information needs to be destroyed when we no longer need them. The easiest way to do that is we need to get a paper shredder.Lunch and food for thought
I have found that many businesses and services are going paperless. For example, I get a discount from my car insurance company, because I have agreed to receiving my insurance documents, and bills online. Consequently we are likely to have a wealth of personal information on our mobile devices. That is our tablets and our smart phones. It so happens that these very devices are the easiest to hack.
So what to do.
- Change your password on your mobile devices often.
- We shouldn’t use our tablets, and smartphones in public places when we are opening up documents that contain vital personal information. By public places I mean places like internet cafes, or Starbucks.
- When viewing our Emails or posts online it’s important not to click on to stuff out of curiosity. Scammers acquire our information by tempting us with an offer that’s too good to be true. I found out very early in my online experiences, that if an offer is too good to be true it usually is. By clicking on these bogus Emails and post, all we accomplish is open up our devices to scammers.
- Watch out for fake Wi-Fi hotspots. In public places like airports fake hotspots are offered, many times for free. Those people who take advantage of these hotspots, find they don’t get any better internet reception, but their devices are taken over by the scammers who run these fake hotspots.
- Don’t respond to missed call or missed text messages. Of course if we know who the missed call or text message is from, we might like to respond. Whatever we do we shouldn’t get ourselves in trouble by ignoring a call from our mother-in-law. Big no, no. The reason is that scammers will call us, with no intention of talking to us. Or sending us a text message for the same reason. They’re intent is to pray upon our curiosity, thinking we will return the call, or text them back, and when we do, we open the door to all the personal information stored on our mobile device. The rule of thumb is that if someone wants to contact us for a legitimate reason, they will call or text back. Ya, that means that bill collector. They always call back.
- We need to only get our apps through Google Play. A strategy used by hackers, to get us to acquire apps from them. These apps may be for virus protection, or some other bogus service. When we buy these useless apps, we open to the hacker all our personal information stored on our android phones. That is why we should only get our apps through Google Play. We can further protect ourselves by installing a Screen Lock with PIN.
- There are Identity Theft Protection Plans out there which not only protect our identity, but also aid us to solve the problems that identity theft causes. Of course a good service like that is not free.
Because many boomers have prepared themselves for their Golden Years, they pretty much paint a target on their backs. Scammers come after us because we have some money set aside for retirement, and they have no qualms about relieving us of our, hard earned retirement nest egg. Here are some of their tactics to take our money;
- Construction fraud. Let’s say that a boomer wants to continue living in their home after retirement. Or they want fix it up to make it worth more on the real estate market. Well I’m a boomer, and the last thing I want to get involved in is a do-it yourself home construction project. I’ve heard of horror stories of how unscrupulous contractors have taken on a job, collected the money for material, and split, never to be seen again. That happens far too often, and hit retired people particularly hard because they have no way to recovery from their lose. Before we choose a contractor, we need to check him out. We need to go to the Better Business Bureau, and find out it the contractor we choose is legitimate. I say even if the contractor is not list with the BBB, don’t use him. Find a contractor with a good track record.
- Medical fraud. Even in our fine upstanding health care system, there are those people out who want to take advantage of us whenGram Mawe are sick. They do this by having us submit to test we don’t need to take. Or having us take medications that don’t do us any good. Sure our insurance pays for most of the cost of these bogus medical fees, but we still have to take care of the copay portion. The higher the cost of our health care, the higher the copay. We boomers definitely take this form of fraud in the shorts. We must never be afraid to get a second opinion when it comes to our health care needs. We’re talking about our bodies, and our money, we need to protect both.
- Financial fraud. It seems there is always someone who wants us to buy something we don’t need, or probably doesn’t even work. The same is true with investments. We see Spam online, that promises will make us a boat load of money, and we only have to spend minutes a day to earn it. I’ve got one thing to say about opportunities like that, IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT USUALLY IS A SCAM. Usually bogus offers appear on our spam Email. The only reason I open up my spam Email is to delete the whole thing, and I do that once a day.
- Taking advantage of people who have lost loved ones. I’m telling you, people who do this should be hung up by the short hair. What happens is that devious people contact people who are in mourning, and tell them that their departed loved one owes them money, and that those poor people who mourning for their loved ones, are responsible for the debt. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Don’t even deal with it. Tell the low life to contact your lawyer, or the executor of the estate.
Bottom line is we need to be careful, and not too trusting. We need to protect our identity, especially if we have our personal information on our i pads and cell phones. When conducting financial transactions, we need to ask for references, and take the time to check them out. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Chances are we have spent a lifetime giving valued advice, not is the time to cash in on our efforts to help.
That’s all I got for now. Now that I have spilled my guts out to you, I’d like to hear from you. Please comment if I’ve said anything you disagree, or even agree with. You can leave your comments below.