The Avon Senior Center was the scene of an informative presentation on senior scams and how to avoid becoming a victim.
AVON, Ohio — The Avon Senior Center was the scene of an informative presentation on senior scams and how to avoid becoming a victim. The speaker was Geoff Myers, owner of a Right at Home franchise that provides “non-medical, quality in-home care for seniors and disabled adults who need some assistance to maintain their independence,” according to company information.
Myers addressed the group of about 30 seniors on Feb. 6. He said the slide presentation was from the Society for Certified Senior Advisors.
Highlighted in the presentation were theft, scams, caregiver abuse and family perpetrators.
For most of the scams, he said, the thieves are very creative and can take bits and pieces of your information to turn to their advantage. What they want is your personal information, including your name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license information, passwords, family relationship information, professional licenses, business identity, and military history and benefits information.
All places where you store information about yourself and your life — particularly on the internet — need to be followed and checked carefully on a regular basis.
As a former banker, Myers said the financial criminals’ goal is to drain your bank accounts. Each year, he said, about 15 million people fall victim, with an average loss of about $3,500.
Tips to be safe include running your credit report regularly, opting out of solicitations, calling 888-567-8688 to be placed on the Do Not Call national list, suspending your mail if away from your home, paying bills online and shredding anything that has your name on it. He recommends a cross-cut shredder as being more effective in shredding documents into tinier pieces.
He also advises limiting what information you keep in your wallet. In particular, do not keep your Social Security card in your wallet. He said your Social Security card can even be used for someone to get a job or open credit lines.
In “phishing” emails — designed to attempt to fool you into parting with your information — look for misspellings and bad grammar.
Warning signs to alert you include:
- mail sent to you that is addressed to someone else
- an unexpected denial of credit or a loan for which you didn’t apply
- inflated earnings regarding business opportunities or sweepstakes
Remember, Myers said, you are targeted more with scams coming in the U.S. mail.
“They (the perpetrators) see seniors as generous and trusting. They are career criminals who practice, practice, practice.”
For more information, Geoff Myers can be contacted at 440-772-4017.
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