Financial fraud is generating a lot of buzz today, as many consumers are facing related issues. Seniors can be especially vulnerable, and many people are seeing issues with stolen credit card numbers and issues that wreak havoc on your financial stability and long-term life planning.
Be wary of anybody who wants access to your finances
The National Council on Aging shares some important tips on how seniors can protect themselves from fraud, but these tips are valuable for everybody to consider. The news has reported on multiple issues in recent years of credit card data being breached by hackers, but there are fraud issues that can take place much closer to home as well.
The NCOA notes that it is not necessarily strangers who can do the most damage to one's financial well-being. Unfortunately, especially in the case of elder abuse, close family members can be the ones causing the damage. Be careful who you allow to access your checking accounts or credit cards, and keep a close eye on your day-to-day finances to ensure that nobody is taking advantage of you.
Scammers can make things seem legitimate
It is critical to be skeptical of anyone who asks you to give them your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. Thieves are getting more and more creative in how they try to tease this information out of people. As the Federal Trade Commission explains, scammers are adept at making themselves look legitimate, like they are from the government, a charity, someone you know, or a business you utilize.
People aiming to commit financial fraud frequently send emails or make phone calls that appear legitimate. The FDIC recommends that you be skeptical of any requests for this kind of information and verify everything before making a purchase or sharing information. Scammers will often try to rush you into making a decision or sending money, but do not be afraid to research situations before moving forward.
Keep a close eye on your finances and report anything amiss
Becoming a victim of financial fraud can cause a great deal of distress and can wreak havoc on your long-term life and financial planning if you are not vigilant and take action quickly. Credit Sesame details that fraud and identity theft in its various forms can negatively impact your credit score, and when left unchecked this can put you in a tough spot when it comes to needing credit down the road for a mortgage, car loan, or credit cards.
Because financial fraud can cause such chaos on your personal finances, it's critical to keep an eye out for these issues on a daily basis. When it comes to debit and credit card fraud, there are consumer protections in place to limit your liability. Monitor purchases made with your card and immediately report anything that seems out of place.
Take steps to keep your information secure
It's also good to avoid using public Internet connections when using banking or shopping apps and utilize strong, varied passwords for all of your online accounts. It can feel like a hassle to have a different password for every site, but Identity Hawk notes that mixing things up from site to site, changing passwords often, and making your passwords challenging with symbols, numbers, and both uppercase and lowercase letters can be key in keeping your finances safe from scammers and hackers.
Financial fraud can be a significant threat to your family's long-term financial security, and scammers and hackers are getting trickier by the day. It is wise to be vigilant about anybody trying to access your financial information, whether it is a family member, supposed government entity, or business you believe you've utilized. Never hesitate to question anyone's need for your information so you can protect your financial assets both now and in the future.
Authored by: Jackie Waters (Guest author)