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  • ELIZABETH EDWARDS

How Our Seniors and Solo Agers Can Keep from Getting Scammed


As Seniors and Solo Agers, it's crucial to stay informed and vigilant against a rising threat in today's digital age - scams . Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, preying on individuals' trust and financial well-being. In this editorial, we explore key insights and strategies to help you avoid falling victim to common scams that target our demographic.


Understanding the Threat: Different Faces of Scams

In recent years, various types of scams have emerged, aiming to deceive individuals for financial gain. From romance scams to tech support scams and identity theft scams to investment scams , scammers are using a variety of tactics to exploit unsuspecting victims. One prevalent scheme that has affected many seniors is the grandparent scam, where fraudsters pose as loved ones in distress, manipulating emotions to extract money.


Protecting Yourself: Tips and Best Practices


Knowledge is your best defense. Stay updated on the latest scam trends and common tactics used by fraudsters. Being aware of the red flags can help you identify and avoid potential scams.


If you receive unsolicited calls, emails, or messages requesting personal information or financial transactions, verify the sender's identity. Legitimate organizations will never pressure you to provide sensitive details on the spot.


Be cautious when sharing personal or financial information online. If you are a social media fan, just realize that the more information you are sharing, the more information is being collected on you. Use strong, unique passwords for your accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. A trick I learned last year about creating passwords is to create a sequence of letters and numbers of things that you hold dear to your heart. For example: Green (your favorite color), 5515 (a previous address), Lake (favorite place to vacation) Dill (your favorite snack is dill pickles). Your password becomes: 'Green#5515+LaKe?dILL@' (you have added symbols between each one). If you are paying your auto loan, you would put the type of auto you have (Ford PickUp)

at the front, back, or in the middle, and your password then becomes: 'Green#5515+LaKe?


Don't hesitate to seek advice from trusted family members, friends, or financial advisors when dealing with unfamiliar financial opportunities. A second opinion can prevent you from making impulsive decisions with long-term consequences.


In an age where technological advancements have opened new avenues for scammers, being proactive and informed is key to protecting yourself and your assets. By following these practical tips and remaining vigilant, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to scams and safeguard your financial well-being.


What to Do if You Fall Victim to a Scam


The first thing you need to do is to take immediate action. Law Enforcement's chances greatly increase if you respond within the first 48 hours. You may be embarrassed that you fell for the scheme, but you need to put that aside, as we are all human, and the Baby Boomer generation was brought up to answer the phone when it rings. My personal rule of thumb is that I simply don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the phone number. If it is a legitimate call, they can leave a message. If the caller does leave a message, then you have the number they called in on, and you can google that phone number to see if it is a legitimate number or not.


You may consider it rude to not pick up your phone if you don't recognize the number, however, the people who are involved in scamming can do so much damage to your life and not give it a second thought. An example of the damage scammers can cause in one's life recently happened in the State of Ohio, If one stops to think about the execution of this scam, and how horrifically two innocent lives were damaged, not answering your phone if you don't recognize the caller becomes an effective strategy to help protect your person.


Remember, awareness and caution are your strongest allies in the fight against scams. Stay informed, stay secure, and empower yourself against fraudsters seeking to exploit your trust.


How to Report a Scam:


Time is of the essence when reporting.


If you fall for a scam and have given the scammers any of your information, contact a trusted loved one or friend, and then contact your local law enforcement agency. If you have given the scammers any kind of personal information, i.e., address verification, first and last name, social security number, or anything else that is personal, they can find you even easier.


Contact your local law enforcement agency, and let them know what has transpired. Again, the first 24-48 hours are crucial to law enforcement's efforts.


You can also contact these websites:



Remember, you can only be scammed if you answer that phone call or respond to that email. You may think that by talking to them and playing their game will deter them, however, what you need to understand is that they very well may be recording your voice with AI and can use it to scam others.


MAKE THE CHOICE - DO NOT TO PLAY INTO THEIR GAME!


The best defense against scams is knowledge and vigilance!


Stay informed and empowered to protect yourself.


(This blog post is brought to you by Black Swan Money Management, an American Association of Daily Money Managers associate.)




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