Reply
Community Manager
1
Kudos
712
Views

Re: Ask The Expert: How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

712 Views
Message 1 of 25

Many thanks to AARP Expert Amy Nofziger and all the participants for joining us this week! Come back and visit the Scams & Fraud forum any time or visit the Scams & Fraud area on AARP.org. And remember to call our free helpline if you or a loved one suspect a scam: 1-877-908-3360.

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
712
Views
Highlighted
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
803
Views

Re: Ask The Expert: How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

803 Views
Message 2 of 25

There are so many reasons why it's not only safer, but more convenient as well.

  1. Your data is encrypted when submitted, much safer than putting a check with your bank account information in the mail.
  2. You have 24/7 access to your accounts. You don't need to wait until you receive your hard copy in the mail to check from unauthorized charges. You can check daily. Yup, I check daily.
  3. Avoid late fees. People don't often think of this, but sometimes life happens and we put the bill somewhere and forgot about it. With auto-pay, you don't have to worry about this and won’t have late fees, which saves you money.
  4. There are still people trolling neighborhoods for unlocked mailboxes to steal your checks, bills, anything with personal information on it for them to commit identity theft.

I know it's hard for people who don't have computers or who are not comfortable doing this online. If you are that person, make sure to mail your checks in a secured location, not in your unlocked mailbox. Also, limit the information you put on your checks, make sure your SSN is not on it! Also, check you statements regularly when you receive them. Sit down and go line by line through them. If you have any errors of fraud, report it immediately.

If you do online banking and are loving it, that's great, just make sure to never do it from a public or free WI-FI. There are hackers waiting to steal transmitted information from an unsecured connection that they can either open up new credit in your name or use your existing credit. Always pay your bills on a computer or other system that is secured. Don't take the risk.

Here is an article that AARP published a few years back that has some good tips in it as well.

https://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-08-2010/paying_bills_in_your_pajamas.html

 



·         Amy @anofziger17, can you tell us why it’s safer to have online access to your bank account, even if you still receive paper statements?


 

View solution in original post

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
803
Views
Community Manager
0
Kudos
841
Views

Re: Ask The Expert: How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

841 Views
Message 3 of 25

·         Amy @anofziger17, can you tell us why it’s safer to have online access to your bank account, even if you still receive paper statements?

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
841
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
854
Views

Re: How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

854 Views
Message 4 of 25

@Olif, are you referring to your credit reports? You can freeze by calling them or by going online, if you have access. You can always call our Helpline at 877-908-3360 and we can walk you through the steps. Also, let me know if I'm not understanding/answering your question. I'll be here all day.



How can I limit filing my reports through regular letters?




View solution in original post

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
854
Views
Gold Conversationalist
0
Kudos
863
Views

How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

863 Views
Message 5 of 25

How can I limit filing my reports through regular letters?

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
863
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
430
Views

Re: Ask The Expert: How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

430 Views
Message 6 of 25

It's frustrating isn't it? It's MY data, so how do so many people have access to it? But let's stay empowered and do some things we can do to help limit our exposure.

 

If you are worried about your data being used to open up fraudulent credit in your name, I would suggest placing a freeze on your credit report. Here is some information about how to go about doing that:

 

Security freezes, also known as credit freezes, restrict access to your credit file, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. You can freeze and unfreeze your credit file for free. You also can get a free freeze for your children who are under 16. And if you are someone’s guardian, conservator or have a valid power of attorney, you can get a free freeze for that person, too.

You will need to contact all three of the nationwide credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you request a freeze online or by phone, the agency must place the freeze within one business day. If you request a lift of the freeze, the agency must lift it within one hour. If you make your request by mail, the agency must place or lift the freeze within three business days after it gets your request. You also can lift the freeze temporarily without a fee.

Contact the national credit bureaus to request fraud alerts, credit freezes (also known as security freezes), and opt outs from pre‑screened credit offers.

 

    Equifax

    Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services

    800-685-1111

 

    Experian

    Experian.com/help

    888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)

 

    Transunion

    TransUnion.com/credit-help

    888-909-8872

 

I recommend folks placing freezes set aside at least 30 minutes to make sure to focus on this. You will need to create usernames and passwords and each credit bureau has a different process. Make sure to keep all this information in a safe place, so when you need to "thaw" your credit, say for a new line of credit to buy your dream boat, you have the information on hand. Final thought on freezes, a freeze does not affect your existing credit. You will be able to continue to use that, it affects only new credit.

 

Additionally, here are some most steps you can take to limit your exposure to data threat and to protect yourself.https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2019/guide-to-preventing-fraud.html

 

 

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
430
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
886
Views

Re: Senior mother - cell phone scams

886 Views
Message 7 of 25

@LisaP704445

Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear this. Your mom is definitely involved in a scam and from my 18 years’ experience, it's very difficult to convince some people to stop. These criminals are skilled at what they do and they have overtaken your mom's cognitive thinking and they are making her think emotionally, with possible fear tactics. I'm not sure from your message how this scam started, but I imagine it was either they claimed that she won a sweepstakes or that they fell in love with her and need these phones for various payment or to stay in communication with her. If you haven't already, please report this to your local law enforcement and/or file a complaint with ic3.gov or call your local FBI office. What we want to focus on now is getting your mom to STOP sending these phones and if she realizes that law enforcement is involved, it might jar her into the seriousness of this. I can imagine you are frustrated and even a little angry, however when speaking with your mom, it's recommended to lead with compassion and empathy. From my experience working with families’ anger towards the victim doesn't help them open up and trust. Remember the criminal is telling them one story in their ear and they are trying to turn your mom against her family. These stories are far too common and we sadly hear them all the time. Please do not hesitate to the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 and ask to speak to a fraud specialist and they can provide you more support and guidance.

Here is a family that shared their story with AARP. I'm sure you will find some of the feelings similar. https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2019/mother-conned-sweepstakes.html

 

 

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
886
Views
Community Manager
0
Kudos
900
Views

Re: Ask The Expert: How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

900 Views
Message 8 of 25

@anofziger17, it seems like we hear so much about data breaches that our personal information must already be out there somewhere.  Is there anything you can do about it?

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
900
Views
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
951
Views

Senior mother - cell phone scams

951 Views
Message 9 of 25

My 72 year old mother is ordering and shipping cell phones to a person and others she met online and has never met to other countries.  We have confronted her and she continues to do this.  At one point, she owed over $1,000 for phones and her account had to be closed due to lack of payment.   She is not senile and we have had many discussions and she promised not to do it again.  Obviously, the behavior has continued.  However, she paid a $300 cell phone bill and did not have enough money to pay her rent  She is on a fixed income and has no savings or assets.  We are continually having to cover her expenses.  @anofziger17, how do we put an end to this?

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
951
Views
Conversationalist
0
Kudos
1192
Views

Re: Ask The Expert: How can I protect my savings/my digital identity?

1,192 Views
Message 10 of 25

Don't use the internet!

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
1192
Views
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Open Enrollment: Oct 15-Dec 7, 2019 Find resources to help you decide on the best healthcare insurance plans for you during Open Enrollment season