Protecting the ageing population & their finances from scammers

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Scammers are heartless, callous and greedy individuals who continue to target New Zealand’s ageing population, in a bid to take a hold of their finances. New Zealand’s Market watchdog have recently found themselves the victims of a scam, proving that even the most savvy of individuals can find themselves falling prey to sophisticated and clever fraudsters. Scams come in all sorts of shapes and forms and spotting a dodgy postal scam or sussing a fake online scam can be difficult. So, just how can the more mature New Zealander avoid being involved in a financial scam?

Education

Financial scams are particularly appealing to fraudsters as they allow them to obtain an individual’s bank account information, thus giving them access to that person’s finances. Therefore, the best way for the ageing population to stay protected is to educate them and keep them up to speed on the latest scams. One of the most popular scams currently doing the rounds are fraudulent reverse mortgage scams, which scammers have designed to con the people out of their money. Worryingly, this type of scam is usually committed by someone that the victim knows, too.

Online protection

For many adults, protecting finances is a simple thing to master, but can you be sure that an ageing relative or friend is just as confident? Instead of assuming that they know how to stay safe online, show them what they should and shouldn’t be doing. Teach a mature relative to always log out of a financial institution’s website when logged in at a public place, such as the library. Also, remind them not to share or let anyone around them see or have access to their personal data or online banking login details.

Be safe at home

Never throw a bank statement, pin number or similar away. It’s so easily done and it’s logical to assume that one piece of paper amongst many other pieces of rubbish couldn’t do any harm. However, you’d be wrong. Scammers will go to great lengths to get hold of your bank account information and simply placing the information they require out with the rest of the rubbish, makes it easy for them to get hold of. Therefore, be sure to destroy such paperwork by shredding or burning it.

On the phone

We all rely on our phones, whether it’s the more traditional landline or a mobile phone, scammers will use whatever means they can to try and take your cash. Scammers are clever and can manipulate phone numbers and text messages to make them appear as though they’ve been sent from a legitimate company. You should never click on a link or give any personal information to any companies that call or text you out of the blue. Instead, mature Kiwis should keep an eye and an ear out for these types of scams and shouldn’t be afraid to make direct contact with any company they have affairs with to check the legitimacy of a piece of contact. Always be sure to use a phone number that you’ve used to contact them on before, too.

It’s not just individuals that are scammed either. The travel industry has been affected by phone scammers calling individuals claiming to be from leading airlines. The scam involves customer’s payment details being requested from those that are led to believe they’ve won a prize.

We can keep ourselves and our families finances safe and secure via education and staying up to speed with the latest tricks and scams is the most effective way of stopping the scammers.