Q: My mom is living alone. She is hale and hearty, but I really worry about her falling victim to senior citizen fraud. How can she protect herself?
A: According to the FBI (which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year), the threat to seniors is growing - and changing. If you type "Senior Citizen Fraud" into a Google search, you will find a plethora of helpful information on the computer.
The FBI Web site outlines some of the common scams to be on the lookout for - identity theft, health insurance, home repair, foreign lottery/sweepstakes, advance fee/credit cards, investments and charity schemes. A trip to www.fbi.gov gives access to some good information on how to avoid falling victim to the above scams.
A few basic tips to avoid being victimized include:
o Shred credit card receipts and old bank statements.
o Close unused credit card or bank accounts.
o Don't give out personal information over the phone, mail or Internet unless you initiate the contact.