Making sure that the public is kept well informed about the dangers posed by predators out to harm consumers is one of the most important jobs for the attorney general. That is why this office will send out regular updates to the public to make sure they are made aware of possible dangers and, more importantly, of the things they can do to protect themselves. The focus of this article is on how seniors can protect themselves.
Six suggestions for seniors
• Sign up for direct deposit with your bank to avoid mail theft and avoid having checks mailed to your home, especially Social Security, disability benefits or stock dividends.
• Join the Federal Trade Commission’s free DO NOT CALL registry by calling 1-888-382-1222. This will cut down telemarketing calls.
• Avoid giving out personal or financial information over the phone. Your bank or credit card company will not call you to verify your account numbers, do not give them out. If you purchase something over the phone, make sure it is from a legitimate company.
• Ignore direct mail advertising that offers anything “free” or almost free, but requires a financial contribution from you. You should never have to pay taxes, legal fees or taxes out of pocket to claim a prize.
• Beware of Medicare drug discount card scams. Medicare drug discount cards cannot be sold over the phone or in unsolicited door-to-door sales. You should not need to provide proof of income when you obtain one because Medicare can access your IRS records.
• Assign power of attorney using the advance directives packet (available free from the attorney general’s office) to a trusted person to make key health decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated.
We hope these tips are helpful and if you need our assistance with a related matter, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 542-2123.