Elder fraud is a growing problem
There are many scammers and fraudsters who are trying to take advantage of older adults. The worst part is that many are succeeding.
Seniors are losing $36.48 billion each year to financial abuse. Even worse, almost 4 out of 10 seniors are affected by elder fraud. And don’t assume that this is only happening to the very old or those with cognitive issues — younger, more educated seniors are actually losing more money!
Junk mail is a sign of fraud risk
If your older adult is getting a lot of junk mail, it’s a warning sign of potential fraud. It means their names are on multiple mailing lists that scammers can use to contact them.
Stop junk mail to reduce fraud risk
Getting rid of the junk mail coming to your senior’s house is an important step to reduce their risk of being scammed.
It also reduces the risk that your older adult will donate to multiple charities, sign up for lots of credit cards, or buy tons of stuff from catalogs.
One woman’s crusade to stop junk mail
We found an excellent website created by a woman on a mission to get rid of junk mail for her grandma. She was getting about 130 pieces of junk mail per week! Below are some of the opt-out resources she used and recommends.
How to stop junk mail
Don’t be discouraged if the mail doesn’t stop instantly. Most companies prepare their mailings three months ahead of time, so it will take about that long to see a reduction in junk mail.
Use these four services to get your senior’s name off of direct mailing lists:
- DMAChoice stops mail from companies that your senior has never purchased from or donated to. Use the “Register as a Caretaker” link toward the bottom of their homepage. darthjenni says this is the #1 way to stop junk mail and that most people will only need to do this.
- National Do Not Mail List is another company you can use to opt-out from junk mail. It’s independent from DMAChoice.
- Opt-Out Pre-Screen (1-888-5-OPT-OUT) stops credit card offers. Warning: They will ask for a Social Security Number. The woman who was getting 130 pieces of junk mail a week says this is legitimate because that’s the way the credit bureaus identify the person.
- InfoCision is a telemarketing company, but they also manage mailing lists for their clients. Call (330) 668-1400) or email email@example.com to request removal from their lists. Bonus: this helps with telemarketing phone calls too.
Stopping junk mail might seem like a lot of work, but if you compare it to what you’ll have to go through if your senior loses a big chunk of their life savings to fraud, it’s totally worth the time and energy.
Coming Soon How to get rid of circulars (Val Pak, grocery flyers, etc) and what else you can do if the steps above don’t stop enough junk mail
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Recycling Works