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Elder Abuse Online Scams

Criminals Use Online tactics to Scam Retired Victims According to a Senate committee report last year, financial scams cost older Americans approximately $2.9 billion annually. That’s a staggering number and, unfortunately, is only expected to climb. The expectation that the senior population has an untapped nest egg at their disposal coupled with a low rate of reporting of elder abuse crimes, makes it the growing crime of the time. As a generation that didn’t necessarily grow up with technology, Internet and email scams are prevalent ways that this market is scammed into unknowingly providing financial and/or personal information. What’s more, this group wasn’t necessarily raised in the overly-cautious environment younger generations have been. This makes them a much more trusting demographic; thus, increasing their vulnerability to criminal behavior. Email and Phishing Scams Phishing scams are fraudulent emails from a cybercriminal posing as a legitimate person or org ...

Protect You or a Loved One from Elder Abuse Scams

Every year, many seniors fall victim to financial scams. As this sector of the population grows older, many are accumulating more wealth and assets, making scammers see them as a potential target. With elder financial abuse being a staggering multi-billion dollar issue each year, it’s important to know what precautions to take to help protect yourself or your loved ones. Tips on Protecting Yourself Be aware that you are at risk. The most important thing to remember is that you are at risk from strangers and those close to you. Reports show that over 90% of reported abuse is committed by someone the victim knows or by a family member, most often their adult children. Use direct deposit if available. Opting to use direct deposit instead of paper checks helps ensure funds go directly into your account and are protected. This reduces the risk of checks getting lost or stolen and prevents the opportunity for it to be taken if seen somewhere inside your residence. Monitor your acco ...

Online Dating Shouldn't Break Your Wallet

The growing popularity of online dating sites have spurred an increase in online romance scam artists. Unfortunately, fraudsters have capitalized on this trend and often create fake profiles to lure victims, establish relationships, and eventually, extort money. Regardless if you're male or female, younger or older, you should always exercise caution when utilizing popular dating sites, online meetup groups, or while perusing social media channels. According to the Better Business Bureau, online romance scams have cost victims in the U.S. and Canada more than $1 billion over the last three years. Unfortunately, due to the perception of older Americans having untapped wealth and retirement funds, coupled with senior Americans' hesitation to report such scams to family or authorities, they're often a targeted group. There are some ways to help verify if the individual you're speaking to online is legitimate and/or if you're being targeted in an online dating scam. Con ...

First Bank Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

14 Tips for Stopping Elder Financial Abuse in its Tracks Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors anywhere from $3 billion to $37 billion a year. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, First Bank is urging senior clients as well as their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse. “The U.S. Population is rapidly aging and the older population not only has varying financial needs and circumstances, but also hold a greater share of household net worth.” Says Bob Ahern, Chief Compliance Officer. “As such, they are also more vulnerable to financial abuse and should seek individuals and professionals who they trust to ensure their best interest and financial and personal well-being.” First Bank is offering the following tips: Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to some ...

Things to Do During the Quarantine That You’ve Put Off

If you’re like many Americans, you’ve probably found yourself with additional time on your hands. In fact, a recent study found that average Americans with access to the Internet are streaming a least eight hours a day, along with binge-watching three shows a week, amidst the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. This data reveals that we probably have some time to now tackle those important items on our to-do list that we may have been putting off. 1. Get Organized. If you’re like many, there’s some room in your life for more organization. Go through old file cabinets and closets to throw out, add to the donate pile, or shred what is no longer needed. Create a more efficient storage space by adding accurate labeling to make it easier to locate things like receipts, photos, craft items, holiday items, and everyday household items. Don’t forget about your online files as well. Organize online folders, delete information you no longer need, and install any updates and anti-v ...

What are some of the Best Ways to Spend the Stimulus Money?

If you’re like millions of Americans, you have or are going to soon receive an economic stimulus check or direct deposit payment into your bank account. For the estimated 17 million of Americans filing for unemployment due to the pandemicˡ, this $1,200 payment per adult and $500 per child could mean the difference between paying for groceries, rent, and household items this month or not. If you are still employed and your job has not been impacted due to COVID-19, then the stimulus money could help you help the local economy with thoughtful spending or giving or could help move you closer to reaching your savings goals. Read Spend or Save: Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Savings Strategy? First and foremost, let’s help you determine the best manner to deposit a hard-copy check amidst the social distancing guidelines. Rest assured, First Bank is considered an essential service provider and is open; however, we’re taking all of the precautions necessary to help keep you safe. That said, i ...

CARES Act Provides Relief to Individuals and Businesses

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This $2 trillion emergency relief package is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. Major relief provisions are summarized here. Unemployment provisions The legislation provides for: An additional $600 weekly benefit to those collecting unemployment benefits, through July 31, 2020 An additional 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits, through the end of 2020, for individuals who exhaust their state unemployment benefits Targeted federal reimbursement of state unemployment compensation designed to eliminate state one-week delays in providing benefits Unemployment benefits through 2020 for many who would not otherwise qualify, including independent contractors and part-time workers Recovery rebates Most individuals will receive a direct payment from the federal government. Technically a ...

Spend or Save: Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Savings Strategy?

As the impact of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to impact families, businesses, and the economy as a whole, many consumers are now faced with the decision of how to best spend their money, including their tax refund or stimulus check. With many individuals finding themselves suddenly in an uncertain economic situation with reduced hours or the potential for loss of one or both incomes, it’s a good time to consider budgets, finances, and how best to plan ahead. According to the Internal Revenue Service, approximately 72% of taxpayers received a refund in 2018 and 2019. Last year, consumers planned to save approximately 41% of their 2018 tax refunds. By comparison, projected savings of tax refunds for 2019 are up to 50%. This could be due to the recent uncertainty of COVID-19 and the economy. “During these perilous times, consumers have suddenly found themselves in a position where they may have to rely on their savings to ensure that their everyday living expenses are met. This c ...

Don’t Let a Romance Scam Steal Your Heart or Your Hard-Earned Money

With Proposal Day behind us in March and Lover’s Day coming up on April 23, 2020, it’s a good time to discuss a growing and alarming trend, romance scams. You may be asking yourself, “Well, isn’t romance supposed to be a good, happy occurrence?” Of course, however, knowing that you’re in an actual relationship with a trustworthy partner is essential in today’s cyber-dating world. Unfortunately, there are those cybercriminals who are actively preying on the vulnerabilities of both men and women who are looking for love. What is a Romance Scam? A Romance Scam is defined as a confidence ploy used to lure people into a fictitious online relationship. The criminals often use popular dating apps and social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, to scout for their victims. Once they quickly build trust with their victim, they ask him or her for funds to be wired or mailed to them for fictitious emergencies. Another popular method of deception is asking the ma ...

A How-To Guide: Supporting Local Businesses During Coronavirus, or COVID-19

As the current coronavirus crisis takes a grip on many businesses and restaurants, owners are finding themselves anxious about both the short-term and long-term impacts this will have on their businesses. With restrictions put in place to help avoid the spread of the virus, small businesses are experiencing many changes to their business models, including a decrease in customers and their cash flow. As essential as small business is to the American economy, it’s essential that consumers do what they can to help assist them during this challenging time. Below are a few examples of how you can help support your local small businesses during COVID-19. 1. Carry Out or Delivery Your favorite, local restaurant may have had to close its doors to dine-in customers, but there’s a chance they’re still available for carryout or delivery. While the dining area might be closed, carrying out and delivery still provides income to help keep the business thriving during this economic hardship. ...

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All First Bank blog information and content is strictly informational. It is not intended to be specific investment, tax, or legal advice. If you need detailed financial, investment, or tax advice, please contact a First Bank qualified professional. Please note, First Bank occasionally shares third-party content we find to be relevant and helpful to our audiences.