All of us are aware of the many scam and fraud calls that we receive each day, but sometimes, we may be caught unaware of calls that appear very real. That is exactly what happened to one of our residents, a very savvy individual, not one to be caught off-guard by professional thieves.
A call came in from a bank asking her if she had taken out two payments. When she answered“no,” Jennifer, the name given by the supposed representative of the bank, said she would have to speak to her manager as there was something wrong with the withdrawal. She told the resident that she would initiate an investigation immediately and have an Investigation Manager call her. She gave her a phone number to call if the investigator did not call her within 24 hours. Shortly after, a man called, identifying himself as Steve Martin, Investigation Manager of the bank, and asked many questions regarding the resident’s accounts. When he asked for her social security number, she became wary and she refused to give it to him. He said he understood and would check the other factors to settle the concerns.
In the meantime, the resident, having become suspicious about the request for her social security number, called the local branch. She asked to speak to a manger and explained the situation to her. As the manger searched the accounts, she found that the savings account money had been transferred to her checking account and that a wire transfer had been requested from the checking account. Fortunately, the wire transfer had not been sent and the bank was able to stop it in time. In this case, the thief had caused chaos to the resident’s account, but no money was lost because both the resident and the bank manger worked quickly and efficiently to stop any transaction.
How to protect yourself:
- Do not answer personal questions when you receive a call.
- Make certain that the call is legitimate by calling the specific office that is being named.
- Do not call the number they give you. Call the number of the agency, itself.
- Remember: The IRS and the Social Security Agency never make phone calls or demand immediate payment.
- If you think you have been scammed, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it. Immediately call your bank and/or credit card company, cancel any debit or credit cards linked to the stolen account and reset your passwords and pin numbers.
Senior citizens have been precisely identified as easy victims of financial fraud and scams. Want to learn more about how to keep your information and money secure? Check out the resources provided by the US Senate’s Special Committee on Aging.
Our final tip is to give careful consideration to where you will live during retirement. Moving to a thriving continuing care retirement community, like The Amsterdam, will provide you with ample opportunities to live your best life. Request an information packet or schedule a tour and see for yourself how good life can by at this dynamic independent living community.