1. Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry.
2. Do not answer the phone if you do not know the caller. If you do answer, hang up if it is a robot, a stranger, or someone pressuring you.
3. If you do not know the sender, do not respond to texts, emails, or click on a link.
4. Question everything. If you do not understand something, do not sign it or agree to it.
5. Use good judgment. Ask yourself, “Why is this person being pushy or telling me it’s a secret or a limited-time offer?”
6. Double check if you receive a call or email from your bank or credit card company. Look up the bank or credit card company’s phone number, and call to verify the validity of the inquiry.
7. Never give personal identifying information to strangers.
8. Ask your credit card company and bank if they can put a fraud alert on your accounts.
9. Monitor your financial accounts regularly.
10. Shred all discarded paperwork and credit card offers with a document shredder.
11. Use direct deposit.
12. Check your three credit reports each year, and put a credit freeze on your credit files.
13. Conduct reference checks for caregivers, or hire them through reputable agencies.
14. Consider enlisting a trusted family member or reputable bill-paying service. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for help with routine payments.
15. Execute a power of attorney only if you have someone you trust completely, and only after consulting with an attorney. Be sure to ask about gifting clauses, and limit the power you give your selected person. Only grant authority that is necessary.
16. Never sell or give away real estate without consulting an attorney.
17. To spot a lottery prize scam, keep track of lotteries or contests you enter.