Financial Protection for Older Adults

scam fraud alert

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

Planning for retirement is important. You’ve heard this time and time again.

But what happens after you plan? What should you do to protect yourself from fraud? What if something happens to your retirement savings?

As you get older, the decisions you make about your money become increasingly important. This is especially true if you are living on a fixed or limited income.

Financial Security as You Age

Managing Debt

  • If you are getting calls about debt that you don’t recognize, think before handing over any important information to the caller. Ask the debt collector for the company’s name and address. If the debt collector refuses to give you this information, you may be dealing with fraud. If the caller does give you the company’s name and address, but you still don’t recognize the debt, ask for more information in writing.
  • Dispute the debt if it is not yours, or if the amount is incorrect. You can dispute debt by writing a letter as soon as possible – within 30 days of when you received the required information from the debt collector.
  • Do not put up with harassing phone calls. You can send a letter to the debt collector telling it to stop contacting you. Telling a debt collector to stop contacting you does not stop the collecting, but it should stop the harassment.
  • Most federal benefits, like social security and VA benefits, are protected in debt collection. However, there are exemptions.

Avoid Fraud

We cover scam and fraud protection often at All About Seniors, and you can check out many of our articles online. Here are a few more tips:

  • Never “pay to play” a lottery or sweepstakes. You cannot win a lottery or sweepstakes that your did not enter, and a legitimate sweepstakes will not ask for money upfront.
  • Take your time when people ask for money over the phone. A scammer will often claim an emergency, hoping that you will take quick action without checking out the details.
  • Check with your loved ones before offering to help a grandchild or another loved one. Call them back to be sure the request is real.