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How To Protect Your Elderly Parents From Money-Related Scams

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How To Protect Your Elderly Parents From Money-Related Scams

If your parents are of the boomer-aged generation of Americans, they're the most susceptible to being targeted by scammers. This past tax season thousands of innocent people lost both money and personal banking information to tax scams, and the elderly attributed to billions of dollars of lost funds.

These scammers can appear in any form, from pretending to give access to free credit scores, to offering a free cruise in the Bahamas. Learn the best ways to arm your parents or elderly loved ones from money-related scams.

Educating Your Parents

The best way that you can protect your parents from scammers is by giving them the right information to protect themselves. Warn them about voice phishing, where criminals leave unsolicited calls with aggressively urgent voicemails, claiming you need to pay a tax bill by sending cash through a wire transfer, debit card or gift card. Remind them that the IRS will always bill them before calling, and would never demand a gift card.

The IRS will also never threaten to immediately bring in the police for the taxpayer not paying if this is the first payment missed, or request your card information over the phone, so if they hear this they should immediately hang up the phone.

Protecting Your Parents’ Information

You can also help them set up firewall and antivirus protection on their computers, to help prevent hackers from getting a hold of their social security numbers or individual taxpayer identification numbers. Remind them that their social security card should be kept somewhere safe at home, and go over that location with them in case they forget.

Help them secure their tax records in a safe location, and warn them against suspicious-looking emails! If they have any questions, tell them to forward you any emails they’re unsure about so you can confirm or deny their validity. There are several options for robocaller blockers that can screen out phone scammers, such as Nomorobo, which you can set up for your parents.

Don’t Blame Your Parents

They’re from an older generation without the ability to harness technology as easily as you can. Hackers become more and more prevalent today with increasingly smarter technology, and it's obvious that the older we get the greater our risk for financial fraud.

The average American lifespan today is 78 years old, as our parents and grandparents are living longer than they used to before. The ever-changing technological world is unfamiliar to this generation, and it's important to stay patient as they learn.

If They Are Victims Of A Scam

If attempts to protect your parents fail, place an initial fraud alert with their major credit reporting companies. You can make an identity theft report, or report it to phising@irs.gov if it is specifically a phishing scammer. Help them get copies of their credit report, place a security freeze of their FICO (NYSE: FICO) credit report and inform their banks they’ve been scammed.

MoneyLion has entered into a compensation arrangement with Benzinga under which MoneyLion pays a fee for marketing and advertising services. MoneyLion does not have editorial control over the content of this material. MoneyLion does not adopt, endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of content posted by Benzinga, and such content does not represent the views of MoneyLion.

Posted-In: Education General Best of Benzinga

 

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