Michael's Message - Financial Mistakes to AVOID
Beginning a new year is a good time to begin thinking about some new ways to protect yourself!
A woman came into my office with her donation check and said she might as well bring it in as mail it. She showed me the letter from The Seniors Center. It looked legitimate, and told of the “desperate need” for funds, asking her to “rush your emergency $35 donation”. She thought it would help her senior center, Shipley Center. Mailings from The Seniors Center are probably causing similar confusion and causing people to erroneously donate funds intended for thousands of senior centers all over the nation. Donations to The Seniors Center do not help any local senior centers to carry out any local programs.
You should have received a legitimate fundraising letter from me in December with the story of Pearl, a senior who is truly benefitting from Shipley Center’s existence and programs. If you have not had a chance to respond to the December letter to help seniors like Pearl, please do so whenever you are able to, any time this year.
WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS!
An article from the National Council on Aging, lists other scams to be aware of. They sound pretty scary and can cost a LOT of money if we fall for them.
Some ways to protect yourself:
- Don’t give personal information over the phone to anyone who calls you posing as a Medicare representative. If you provide enough information, they can submit false claims to Medicare and get paid thousands of dollars.
- Don’t buy prescription drugs over the internet, as fake or even harmful substances have been sent to consumers.
- Don’t agree to pay debts of a deceased family member without consulting an attorney. You may not be required to pay them, or they may not be legitimate debts at all, created just to scam you at a vulnerable time in your life.
- Don’t be pressured into buying an expensive casket if you are electing for cremation, as only a cardboard container is required.
- Don’t ever send money or give your credit card info out online or over the phone to claim an inheritance, sweepstakes, lottery prize or any other funds they say are coming your way. If you are a legitimate winner or heir, you will not have to pay anything.
- If someone calls you claiming to be a grandchild in trouble in a foreign country, needing money wired or paid by credit card to rescue them, it is a scam 99.99% of the time. If you are worried, get the return phone number and then call you children or grandchildren’s regular phone number you have on file and check up on them. They are most likely doing just fine, and will enjoy an unexpected call from you!
- The latest scams are phone calls from “the IRS” threatening you with being arrested for back taxes, or from “the Sheriff’s office” for not coming in for jury duty or paying for traffic or parking tickets. A representative will offer to help you pay the penalties, or “settle this matter” via credit card. Hang up!
One way that Shipley Center helps is by posting “Fraud Alerts” on our Facebook Page. Let us know if someone has tried to scam or deceive you, and we can publish the info to help others not get “taken”. Life our Facebook page to make sure you get our “Fraud Alerts” and tell your friends to “LIKE US” also!
Here’s to a Happy New Year of smart financial decisions!
Thanks for your participation and support!