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  • Archive for October, 2015

    WISER Halloween Blog: Watch out for tricks, so you can enjoy your retirement treats!

    Thursday, October 29th, 2015

    scams 3.robberhand in retirement jarLosing your retirement savings can be a spooky thought. There are scammers and con artists that will jump at any opportunity to disappear with your money. Don’t let your money be added to the billions of dollars that has been lost to senior financial fraud and abuse.

    Financial frauds and scams can have a monstrous toll on your retirement. Some of these sinister scams include:

    *  Telemarketing and Internet Fraud – Victims are targeted through phone, mail, or email with the promise of (fake) goods and services in exchange for paying fees or making purchases.

    *  Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud – Thieves gain access to a senior’s personal information in order to then take money and property. These scammers may even disguise themselves as government employees.

    *  Grandparent Scams – A scammer will pretend to be a senior’s grandchild who is in trouble in order to convince them to send money.

    *  Healthcare Scams – Scammers will pretend to be government employees calling about Medicare, health insurance, or another healthcare program to get personal information.

    *  Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams – A widely practiced form of telemarketing fraud, scammers tell seniors that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes. The catch is, the senior must make a small payment or pay a fee to receive the alleged prize.

    *  Investment Schemes & Fraud – Unscrupulous professional investors try to sell inappropriate, unethical, or confusing investment products to seniors.

    There are ways to fight back! Be a super hero by educating yourself and others about how to keep retirement savings safe. Here are some tips:

    *  The government will never solicit information over the phone or through email, so never give personal information over the phone to someone claiming to be from a federal agency.

    *  Do not respond to personal sales pitches, phone calls, texts or emails that ask for personal information.

    *  Do not use the same password for everything.

    *  If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, don’t respond and stop all communication. If you suspect a scammer has called you, simply hang up!

    *  Report suspicious activity immediately. Cancel credit cards linked to your account and reset your personal identification number.

    *  For legal services, contact the Eldercare Locator at, or call toll-free atscams 3.robber 1-800-677-1116.

    To learn more, check out WISER’s “Senior Financial Fraud and Abuse” fact sheet series. These resources were developed in partnership with the National Adult Protective Services Association. Click on the following topics to learn more:

    Senior Financial Fraud and Abuse

    Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud

    Healthcare Scams

    Reverse Mortgage Scams

    Annuity and Living Trusts Scams

    Deed Theft and Foreclosure Rescue Scams

    Power of Attorney Abuse

    Undue Influence

    It can be scary out there, but education and awareness are key strategies to preventing and responding to senior financial fraud and abuse.  Educate yourself so that you can keep your money and your financial future safe!


    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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