Empower Yourself: Tips to Fight Back Against “Senior Scammers”

Scams targeting seniors are a persistent problem. Here’s more about how and your loved ones can fight back.

Whether in the newspaper, on TV, or from a friend, it seems we’ve all heard stories of senior scammers in search of personal identity details and, ultimately, money. Typical tales may include a foreign prince, a large inheritance or lottery winnings. But not all scams fit the usual mold, and even the brightest of us can fall prey.

Keep your personal information safe and secure.

Emily Lutz, Certified Professional Daily Money Manager from Liberty Paperwork Solutions, paid a visit to Crane’s Mill and shared her expertise on the subject of senior scams. Emily provided an enlightening presentation, and members of the audience shared personal experiences in this eye-opening session.

The Crane’s Mill Courier was on hand, and we’re happy to share some of Emily’s tips with you:

In 2012, 12,600,000 scams were reported in the US alone. A startling 50% of those were perpetrated agains senior citizens.

Scammers target seniors for a number of reasons including that they are usually home alone, and may be more friendly towards strangers than other age groups. They may seek to obtain a person’s bank information, credit card number, Social Security Number, pin number or account passwords.

Scammers tend to operate through four main channels: on the phone, in the mail, on the computer and in person. Here are some tips sot keep you well-equipped to defend yourself and your loved ones.

On the phone, seniors may find themselves in the position of “having to make a quick decision.” This is what the scammer wants, a situation in which their target needs to act quickly to avoid consequences.

Emily shared this jarring example of a phone scam: a person claiming to be from the county sheriff’s office calls, asserting that you, John Smith, haven’t responded to multiple jury duty summonses. They’re coming to pick you up. Unless, of course, they have the wrong “John Smith”, which you can prove to them over the phone by sharing your Social Security Number.

Other popular phone scams include urgent calls from utility companies needing prompt payment or family members in danger needing money wired immediately. Again, the consistent factor is urgency—the person needs you to make a quick decision. To avoid falling victim, ask the person for their information and let them know you will call back. Then do some research by asking friends or family members about the situation.

If all else fails, simply hang up. If it is something truly important, they will call back.

In the mail, you may find a number of official-looking correspondences that are, in fact, simply pieces of junk mail. Examples may include sweepstakes winnings or other urgent notices. A great way to I.D. these suspect mailings is to show a friend, neighbor or family member.

Another important tip from Emily regarding the mail: be sure to shred or tear documents containing your personal information before discarding.

On the computer, it is important to be cautious when opening emails. If you see something that looks suspicious, the best course of action is not to open the email or click on any links included within.

In person, someone may come to your door asking for a donation. Even if their cause seems legitimate, it’s always best to ask for literature that you can review. That way, you can take a look at the material at your leisure and make an informed decision. Again, if you suspect something is amiss, reach out to a family member or friend and ask for their help.

Emily discussed another example involving a contractor knocking on a person’s door to alert them of a needed repair. The person claims they can care of it “quickly and cheaply” but it’s something that needs to be done that very day. In a case such as this, if they are a legitimate contractor and there is a legitimate need for a home repair, they will leave their information along with a list of references. Be sure to get a second opinion from someone you trust and contact the company’s references prior to moving forward.

_________________________________________________________________________

For more information on different scams and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones, you can visit this page on the FBI website.

You’re Invited – Summer Lecture Series at Crane’s Mill

Visit Crane’s Mill for our special Summer Lecture Series!

All programs begin at 1:30 p.m.
RSVP for one or all by calling 973-276-3070 or click here to send an email.

Part 1: Wednesday, June 15. Presented by Dr. Jonathan Rose. Today the mass media is trusted by just 40 percent of Americans—and only 11 percent of those aged 18 to 24. Newspapers, newsmagazines, and network news broadcasts are dying. Younger readers especially get their news by scanning a host of blogs and websites, all of which offer very different versions of reality, none of which carry any real authority. Jonathan Rose, an expert in the history of reading, shows that this skepticism is not new: in fact it is much older than newspapers themselves. He explains why readers throughout history have distrusted what they read, and he traces denunciations of what we now call the “lamestream media” all the way back to Socrates.

Part 2: Wednesday, July 20. Even though New Jersey is one of the smallest states, it’s packed with tons of history. This class will examine some of the sites and events that put our state on the map. From deserted villages, a castle, the country’s oldest seaside hotel, canals, railroads, America’s first coast-to-coast highway, and “the trial of the century,” our little state has made its mark.

Part 3: Wednesday, August 24. An uncle and a niece, Solomon and Peggy Guggenheim separately began collecting “modern” art in the mid-twentieth century and wound up changing the art world forever. They not only each established museums, they created the first artistic “brand.” Today cities all over the world want to replicate the “miracle of Bilbao” and have their very own Guggenheim. Come learn their incredible story.

Join Us for Lunch at Crane’s Mill!

We have one Lunch & Learn program remaining this year, and a few spots are reservations are still available!

Visit Crane's Mill for a special Lunch & Learn program.

Visit Crane’s Mill for a special Lunch & Learn program.

We have a few reservations available for our upcoming Lunch & Learn program on Thursday, November 19 at 12 noon. If you’re interested in learning more about Crane’s Mill, including all about our available apartments and cottages, contracts and pricing, health, wellness, activities, dining, and more, then this program is for you!

Call us at 973-276-3070 or click here to send us email to let us know if you can join us for this special program. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis, and space is limited.

We hope to see you on November 19!

Evening Seminar Series – A Free 4-Part Program for Children of Aging Parents

Visit Crane’s Mill for this special 4-part series designed exclusively for those with aging parents!

FINALLY—a series of FREE programs designed specifically to help children of seniors navigate through the challenging aging process. Learn all about elder law, Medicare, finance, and how to have tough conversations with your parents.

Guests may attend all four programs or select the ones that best suit their needs.

RSVP: 973-276-3070 or send an email to cranesmill@lsmnj.org

Advance registration is required; light dinner will be served.

Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise: 10 of the Most Common Elder Law Questions
Presented by Thomas M. Murphy, ESQ.
Tuesday, September 29th | 6:30 p.m.
Join Thomas M. Murphy, ESQ., for a discussion of elder law, estate planning, veteran’s aid and attendance pension benefits, advanced directives, long-term custodial care, special needs, guardianship and Medicaid planning.
Medicare: What is it all about?
Presented by James Kim, RPh, MBA,
Certified SHIP Counselor
Tuesday, October 6th | 6:30 p.m.
Learn everything you need to know about Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), Medigap (Supplemental Insurance), the differences between the two, Part D (Rx Plan), and so much more! Bring your Medicare questions—James is a state-certified SHIP counselor.
When to Take the Keys Away
Presented by Richard Nead, Kessler Institute, Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist
Tuesday, October 13th | 6:30 p.m.
 Richard Nead will explore the various circumstances that may be involved when retiring from driving is being considered. Topics will include medical conditions, medical history, driving health, current driving patterns, history, red flags, where to get help, and more.
Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home!
Presented by: Yale S. Hauptman, ESQ., Hauptman & Hauptman, PC
Elder, Estate & Special Needs Lawyers
Tuesday, October 20th | 6:30 p.m.
Did you know that you may be eligible to protect your assets under a federal law which will allows you to meet your long-term health needs and pass on a legacy to your loved ones? First 25 to register will receive a FREE copy of Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home!

 

Don’t Miss our Brunch & Learn Programs This Summer

Hungry for more info about Crane’s Mill? Check out one of our upcoming Brunch & Learn sessions for all you need to know about our community served alongside a delicious tapas-style brunch!

Choose from one of three remaining dates for 2015:
Tuesday, August 4
Tuesday, August 18
Thursday, September 10

All programs start at 10:30 a.m. Make your reservation today!

Call 973-276-3070 or click here to send us an email. We’ll see you at brunch!

Learn all about our community at Brunch & Learn-Tapas Style!

Learn all about our community at Brunch & Learn-Tapas Style!