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Safeguards against theft and scams

Older woman calling Credit Card company

Do a little bit of research in this matter and you will find that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes across the world, especially America. According to statistics from Transunion, more than 19 people fall victim to identity theft every minute.

To understand the severity and extent of the crime, we first need to understand what identity theft actually is. Identity theft basically takes place when a hacker or criminal acquires someone’s personal information and data through the means of deception or fraud.

The data is rather obviously acquired for the means of personal and financial gain. Due to the growth in the number of crimes reported under identity theft, the economic effect of such crimes is staggering. Financial losses attributed to the crime totaled more than $30 billion in the last year.

While identity thefts pose a threat to all segments of society, seniors are considered a primary target for such crooks. This can be gauged by the fact that around 30 percent of all identity theft complaints have been submitted by people who are over 60 years old.

As a senior, this is a matter of concern, and you need to be equipped with the right information to safeguard yourself from scams and scammers. Here we mention a few tips that will help you secure your savings and any future financial dealings.

Do Your Research The world has changed and organizations need to be thoroughly studied and assessed by customers before doing business with them. While the Internet may seem like a wide, complex maze to many people, they should look to the Better Business Bureau or BBB for information. The BBB lists complaints from customers who have been scammed by an organization. This way, you can see whether the organization you are going to be associated with, has a tarnished image or not.

The motive here is to understand all the details regarding the organization you are going to work with, so even if it means taking a little extra time, you should to do so. Moreover, you can also look for advice from friends and family members. You might get some important details from any corner of the spectrum.

Too Good to be True Seniors are host to a myriad of calls from telemarketers. Although, many telemarketers are true to their trade and offer reasonable deals, there are various scammers also present in this field. If you get a call from a telemarketer offering a deal that is too good to be true, then you should probably back out.

If a telemarketer calls you and says, “Congratulations, you have won our next bonus free prize, but for availing the special free prize you need to make a payment for postage and handling,” chances are that they are probably fraudsters.

Whenever a deal sounds too good to be true, you should research the internet for authentication of the products and deals of the said business. Remember not to be greedy, because your greed is the fuel that feeds fraudsters. Beware before saying yes to a deal or a service being offered at unbelievable rates.

Don’t be intimidated by Sales Tactics The thing about scammers is that they know the human psyche and can manipulate you through their different guises. One of the most common methods used by scam marketers is that they prompt you to close the deal through high pressure methods. Their words are very persuasive and indicate that they won’t accept no as an answer.

These slam-dunk techniques for securing a deal have been labeled as core components of fraud and scamming by the COPS office. They are highly used and effective methods of scam because they usually appeal to the agreeable nature of most people. Don’t fall for questionable sales antics and say no if you feel that the salesman is too pushy, or too persuasive.

Don’t Give Away Personal Information Even if you do find a sales package or a deal attractive, ensure that you do not give away your personal and financial information away easily. Your financial information should be safeguarded at all times. There are times when you would encounter telemarketers or marketers in general that would want you to give away your financial details, like your credit card number, even before the deal is finalized.

Once you have safeguarded your interest through the early waves of the sale, the onus of being responsible with a formal contract also falls on your shoulders. Most marketers and investment firms present a formal contract that initiates your dealings. If you are presented with a document that you fail to understand, don’t sign it until you comprehend everything on it.

Make sure that you do a word to word analysis of any contract that includes your personal and financial information. All the points covered in such documents are of immense importance and deserve your utmost attention. If you fail to understand the legal implications, get help from a professional or any trusted advisor.

Sign up for Do Not Call Registry If you are tired of telemarketers trying to fake you into making a deal through the phone, then you can always register your mobile or home number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Registering your number on the said Registry would mean that you will no longer receive irritating telemarketing calls that also possess the threat of frauds and scams. The registration process is free, simple and really easy to manage.

Always remember that safeguarding yourself from scams and thefts starts from awareness and ends at prevention.

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