The Better Business Bureau (BBB) teamed up with Panorama recently to offer Panorama residents and guests an insightful seminar on some of the many insidious scams being targeted at area seniors. The “Scam Jam’s” objective was to arm the participants with knowledge on how to “protect your community from identity theft and avoid becoming a target of marketplace fraud.” Speakers from the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s Office, the Department of Financial Institutions and the Better Business Bureau spoke on Medicare fraud and senior investment fraud and how the BBB can assist people in protecting themselves.
What can we do to protect ourselves from scams, schemes and fraud?
- Never give personal financial information to unknown callers or unsolicited mail.
- Verify the address or phone numbers of unknown businesses.
- If you need to hire a repairman or contractor check them out via the BBB Yellow Pages for accredited businesses.
- Don’t yield to high pressure or emotional sales tactics.
- Never pay the entire cost of a repair job up front.
- Watch your bank and credit card statements…check for accuracy and shred documents before throwing away.
- Have your social security or pension benefit checks direct deposited into your account to reduce the possibility of ID theft.
- Do not leave out-going bill payments in an unsecured mailbox.