Awareness and Caution
It’s a sad reality that there are people among us who set traps and lie in wait to take advantage of unsuspecting, trusting individuals. What can appear to be an innocent phone call, mailing or email can actually be a clandestine effort to gain personal information making us vulnerable to identity theft, or theft of assets and belongings. It is very difficult to track these people and even more difficult to recoup your losses.
Unless you are very sure of the business or individual requesting your support, walk away. Never provide your Social Security number, your credit card information or your checking account information. If the caller is talking about something that truly interests you, request that they send you information in writing via the postal service. That buys you time and provides you with what you need to make an informed decision. If the answer to this request is negative, hang up. Legitimate entities have written information and policies.
Finally, if you feel that you or someone you know is a victim of identity theft or elder abuse, call your local police department. They are trained to know what to look for and the proper agencies to work with. Never be embarrassed, they’re here to help and we all need help occasionally.
Stay well and stay tuned as we continue to explore the Art of Aging.