Statistically, senior citizens are at greater risk of being the victim of fraud. Scammers target the elderly because grandma and grandma are often more likely to have a nest egg, easier to confuse, and less likely to be suspicious.
That’s why one company has developed a new credit card specifically designed to protect seniors from financial fraud. The card provides an extra barrier against scams such as hidden subscription fees, unauthorized charges or other financial scams (such as fraudulent charities) seniors may encounter online.
New Credit Card Protects the Elderly from Internet Scams
The new credit card is called True Link. For $20 a year, senior citizens can subscribe to True Link’s anti-fraud monitoring system that’s connected to a special preloaded Visa card. True Link flags suspicious online transactions and prevents them from going through without explicit authorization from the card owner (or their caregivers).
Because it’s loaded with a limited amount, the True Link card also helps seniors and their loved ones manage a monthly budget.
According to VentureBeat, the card is a simple solution to elder fraud:
It takes about five minutes to sign up for a card. A caregiver or elderly person can fund it from any checking account or a direct deposit from a pension.
True Link doesn’t just prevent explicit fraud– often, there are hidden fees on products that are sold online … The card acts as a backup mechanism to prevent these kinds of accidental, inflated purchases. You could set requirements so these sorts of additional costs are flagged — and need to be approved first.
The system can also notify card owners with email notifications or text message alerts for easy transaction approval. By adding this second layer of protection, senior citizens and their caregivers can catch fraudulent activity before it goes through — which is always easier than calling your credit card company to dispute a transaction after the fact.
Other Ways to Keep Seniors’ Money Safe and Scam-Free
While True Link sounds like a great way to protect your elderly loved ones from financial fraud, there are other steps you can take to stay safe and scam-free. Share these tips with the senior citizens in your life:
1. Check Your Bank Account Online Every Day. With online banking, it’s easy to monitor your checking and other financial accounts. Make this part of your daily routine — review your banking transactions over coffee or before bed each night. If you spot a suspicious charge, contact your bank right away. The sooner you file a dispute, the sooner it can be resolved.
2. Use Preloaded Cards for Online Transactions. This could be the True Link credit card or any other preloaded credit card. By using a prepaid card, your primary accounts will be protected from fraudulent activity and it won’t be as big a hassle if you ever need to cancel the card. You may also be able to generate temporary, disposable credit card numbers online through your bank’s website for the same protection.
3. Be Careful Where You Donate. Think twice before giving money to a charity, political group or nonprofit, especially if they’re soliciting donations online. Make sure the organization is real and not a scam. (Click here to check out Scambook’s Tips to Avoid a Charity Scam).
4. Look for Reviews of Sites, Sellers and Anything Else. Before making an online purchase, buying from a seller on Craigslist or sending money to an organization that cold-called you, look ’em up! Search Scambook and elsewhere on the web to see if there are any complaints.
Share Your Tips to Avoid Financial Fraud and Internet Scams
How do you protect yourself or the senior citizens in your life from online scams? Does True Link sound like an effective product or is it not worth the subscription fee? Tell us what you think in the comments.
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