It’s the Christmas season, but scammers never take a holiday – and what’s worse, they’re getting more cunning. They’ve learned know how to bait the hook and pull you in. But here are four tips so you don’t get caught, cleaned and gutted of your hard-earned cash.
Never “pay to play”. You cannot win a lotter or sweepstakes you did not enter, and a legitimate sweepstakes will not ask for money upfront. Even though we dream being offered that incredible “deal”, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Take your time. Scammers often claim an emergency hoping you will take quick action without checking out the situation. One of my rules is never commit to anything on the phone and I always give myself at least a couple of days to think about the offer. And seldom is the “one time only” deal available only once.
Check with loved ones. Before offering to help a grandchild or a loved one, call them to make sure the request is real.
If you do receive a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission online at www.ftccomplaintassistant.govor call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Interestingly, older adults are more likely to report fraud than younger people. The top scams reported by older adults are technical support scams, prizes/sweepstakes/lottery scams, family and friend imposter frauds, and real estate and timeshare resale offers.
What I found surprising though is that contrary to popular thinking, older Americans are not necessarily defrauded by scams at higher rates than younger consumers. But tragically older adults have reported much higher individual dollar losses than younger consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s primary consumer protection agency, has been working diligently to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices. – and protecting older adults has been a top FTC priority for decades. Actions they have taken include challenging phony sweepstakes and bogus tech support to a case over alleged claims that a product could treat everything from arthritis to memory loss.
But the FTC can’t do it alone. Consequently, the FTC has started a “Pass It On” campaign encouraging individuals to share their experiences with friends and family. The more information that gets out to every corner of our communities, the better protected we will all be from costly scams. For more information go to consumerfinance.gov/oa or call 855-411-2372. Or you can check out “Pass It On” at www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0030-pass-it-on.
Now that we’ve had our first visit of snow, it is a good time to mention the Center’s snow closure policy. If School District 21 is closed, the Center will be closed. If there is a two-hour morning delay, the morning classes will be cancelled. The Center’s concern is we don’t want anyone to feel obligated to attend a class or meal when the roads and sidewalk are unsafe.
Last week I mentioned The Center’s Christmas Breakfast from 8:00 – 9:30 on December 15th sponsored by Dean Dollarhide and Dennis Morgan. But I forgot to mention there’s going to be more than the “All-You-Can-Eat” Pancakes. There will be door prizes, a raffle drawing for one of the two quilts hanging in the lobby – one of which is a full size 77” by 97” quilt with an animal theme; and another chance to purchase a beautiful one-of-a kind lap blanket or apron. Come and enjoy breakfast and more!!
The 1965 epic romantic drama set in Russia between the years prior to World War I and the Russian Civil War; and starred Julie Christie was Dr. Zhivago. (I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Sandy Haechrel, Jess Birge, Tiiu Vahtel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket Laura Comini.)
Time to move from Julie Christie to Warren Beatty whose career as an actor, writer, director and film producer spanned 5 decades. But his popularity took off when he starred in this landmark film that told the story of a couple who during the middle of the great depression started with small time heists then moved to robbing banks; and who in the movie’s final scene died in a flood of bullets. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this 1967 film? Email your answer to email@example.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with a recording of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” by Flatt and Scruggs.
Well, it’s been another week learning how to deal with it. Until we meet again, with time you learn that one of the necessary ingredients of successful aging is PATIENCE.
“When you stumble make it part of the dance.” author unknown