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financial scams in retirement

How to Avoid Common Financial Scams in Retirement

As you approach 65, you might notice that suddenly you are the most popular person on earth, and if you are 65 already,  then you have likely been popular for a while . . . to scammers and marketers that target retirees and seniors.  Scammers are likely to be your new “best friend”, mailing, emailing, and calling you at all hours.  Unfortunately, this is likely to continue well into your golden years.

Below are a few things to keep in mind to avoid financial scams. While these apply to more than seniors, the increased volume of emails, texts, and phone calls when you turn 65, means that you will need to be more vigilant. 

1. Mitigate Exposure to Scammers

It is best not even to be exposed to scammers in the first place.  I know that is hard to do, but if you take a few steps, you can at least mitigate your exposure.  Make sure you are registered with the National Do Not Call Registry operated by the Federal Trade Commission. You can register your home phone and mobile phone numbers.  Also, block unwanted callers and texters on your cell phone.  Let callers that you do not recognize go to voicemail.  Scammers are unlikely to even leave a voicemail.

2. Don’t Give Out Personal Information Over the Phone or Online

This may seem obvious, but many people still fall for this common scam tactic. Be extremely cautious of individuals who request your personal information, such as your social security number, bank account details, or credit card information. These scammers often go to great lengths to impersonate government officials or reputable financial institutions, aiming to gain your trust before exploiting your sensitive data to commit financial fraud. Remember that the Social Security Administration and the IRS won’t ever call you.  Protect yourself by remaining alert and skeptical, and remember that safeguarding your personal information is crucial in preventing monetary loss and identity theft. 

3. Be Skeptical of “Too Good to be True” Offers

If an offer seems “too good to be true”, it probably is. Scammers often target retirees, preying on their trust. They make enticing promises of high returns on investments or sweepstakes winnings, playing on the hopes and dreams of unsuspecting individuals. These scammers employ various tactics to pressure their victims into acting quickly, often requesting personal information or upfront payments. Always exercise caution and conduct thorough research before making any financial decisions that could potentially jeopardize your hard-earned money and personal security.

4. Do Not Respond to Unsolicited Requests

Be cautious of unsolicited emails, phone calls, or even in-person visits from strangers offering financial services or investments. These individuals often have ulterior motives and aim to deceive you, either by stealing your hard-earned money or obtaining your personal information for malicious purposes. It is important to remain vigilant and skeptical of such requests.

If you receive a suspicious request, it is highly advised not to respond and instead report the incident to the appropriate authorities. By doing so, you contribute to the collective effort in combating these scams and protecting yourself and others from falling victim to fraudulent activities. 

5. Stay Up-to-Date on Scam Trends

In today’s digital age, scammers are constantly devising new tactics to prey on unsuspecting retirees. To protect yourself, it is crucial to stay well-informed about the latest scams circulating. One effective way is to regularly check trusted sources like the Federal Trade Commission or AARP can provide you with comprehensive information on common scams and fraud schemes. Knowing what to look out for can help you avoid falling victim.

One of the most effective and reliable strategies to safeguard your finances from potential scams during retirement is to seek guidance from a reputable and knowledgeable financial advisor. By leveraging their expertise, they can help spot potential red flags or scams before you fall victim to them.

Work with us

If you have more questions about retirement planning, our team is here to help you every step of the way.  At Purposeful Wealth Advisors, we work closely with attorneys, accountants, and other dedicated professionals to arrive at comprehensive solutions for our clients. 
Contact us today to schedule a consultation!