How Seniors Can Protect Themselves From Mail Fraud
When most people think about fraud and scams that impact seniors, they think about online scams or phone fraud. There are lots of scammers that use those methods to try and scam seniors as well as an increase in old-fashioned mail fraud too. When seniors mail payments for their bills that include checks for payment, criminals are finding ways to steal that mail and steal those checks. They can then “wash” checks with a unique process and make out those checks to themselves, leaving seniors with nothing. But there are some things that seniors can do to protect themselves from mail fraud and people stealing their checks:
Take Mail To The Post Office Directly
Instead of leaving mail in their mailboxes with the flag up to let the mail carrier know there is outgoing mail, seniors should take their outgoing mail directly to the post office and deposit it in the collection box or hand it to a clerk. It’s very easy for criminals to take outgoing mail out of a senior’s mailbox at their house. Seniors who have trouble getting to the post office can benefit from having senior home care. When seniors have senior home care they will have assistance with things like driving, running errands, and going to the post office.
Turn Off Overdraft Protection On Checking Accounts
Most banks allow their customers to opt out of overdraft protection or turn it off on their checking account. That way if a senior’s checks are stolen and someone tries to overdraft the account to get more money, they won’t be able to. It can help mitigate the financial damage that is done if someone does manage to steal a senior’s checks and commit mail fraud, because if the overdraft is off the thieves won’t be able to drain the overdraft too.
Use Prepaid Credit Cards To Pay Bills
Some seniors still prefer to mail their payment in each month for things like the cable TV service or the utilities. But seniors can pay their bills by mail without using checks. Most bills now allow people to enter a credit card number or send a check. Seniors can set up pre-loaded credit cards that only contain enough money for the bills. If a criminal steals the bill and tries to use the credit card they won’t be able to get much money because they can’t get more than the amount that is pre-loaded on the card.
Fill Out Checks Completely
Seniors who still want to use checks should make sure that they are filling out the checks completely. It’s harder for criminals to wash checks and steal them if there is a lot of information on the original check. Seniors should always write out the amount of the check in words completely on the correct line as well as writing the number numerically in the box. And in the memo section, they should add the account number of the bill they are paying.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering senior home care in Elk Grove, CA please contact the caring staff at Aging Assistant today. (916) 897-4752
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