Retired? Protect yourself from scammers.


Here are some well-known scams and rip-offs you should watch out for.

Retirement is a time to explore new opportunities and dedicate more time to things you enjoy. Unfortunately, scammers often target retirees and their money, using a variety of tricks that could potentially affect your credit. Here are a few to watch out for.

Medicare and other insurance scams.People may pose as Medicare representatives to get personal information from you. Or, they may set up fake medical offices or mobile "health check" stands and fraudulently bill Medicare.

Counterfeit prescription drugs. If you see ads on the internet advertising super low prices on medication, be careful–they may be too good to be true.

Funeral fraud. Believe it or not, some scammers will read obituaries and try to take advantage of a deceased person's loved ones.

Fake emergencies. After doing a little research about you and your family, a scammer will then call and pretend a family member has been in an accident or been arrested and needs money wired immediately.

Fake charities. Phone scammers will pretend to be collecting money to pay for relief efforts, especially after a particularly large natural or manmade disaster.

Phony investments. Playing on retirees' fears of not having enough money in retirement, scammers will offer get-rich-quick schemes over the phone or by email.

Homeowner and reverse mortgage. Retirees are more likely to have paid off their homes or have substantial equity. That's a potentially rich source of income for a scammer.

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