Picture this: Your senior relative clicked on a “no-obligation” email offer for magazines, books, or maybe even a gift offer or new credit card offer. Unfortunately, such a seemingly legitimate offer may come with a hidden price tag. By knowing the pitfalls of scam email offers and applying a few basic guidelines, you can help protect the senior in your life.
Understand what the offer really costs
“No-obligation” scam email offers require seniors to share personal details like their name and email, and possibly their phone number, address, gender, age or other data. Further, revealing this information to unfamiliar sources can subject seniors to companies that may sell their data. This can lead to spam and junk mail or worse, expose seniors to identity theft and financial fraud.
Help protect seniors from getting scammed
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers these tips to help the senior in your life avoid getting scammed:
Just say no: Encourage your senior not to click on email offers from unknown companies or individuals. If your loved one is unsure about a message, tell him or her to mark it as spam, then delete it.
Uncheck pre-checked boxes. Pre-checked boxes on scam email sign-up forms can commit your loved one to receiving additional products at a cost to him or her, or possibly allow personal data to be sold. The cost here could be fraudulent charges on accounts or missing funds.
Monitor financial accounts. Check his or her financial accounts regularly to make sure there are no charges for things your loved one didn’t order. Just as important, look for checks written to unknown individuals or companies. If you see something suspicious, talk to his or her credit card issuer or financial institution immediately.
Remember, that “no-obligation” scam email offer likely comes with a cost. If a senior you care about receives a fraudulent offer, file a complaint with the FTC.
Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.
The advice provided is for information purposes only. Consult your financial advisor for additional guidance.