Caregiver Tips for Avoiding Life Insurance Scammers
Life insurance isn't one of those things that people think about when they are younger. But once you start a family, it typically starts standing out in your mind a lot more. Trying to find the right type of coverage for your family can be daunting, especially if you're concerned about the questions asked during a life insurance interview.
But one of the most important things you want to guard yourself against when buying life insurance is a scam. This is especially important as a caregiver since you are responsible for not only protecting yourself but also the person in your care. You may be in charge of their finances as well as their health, so you need to always be on guard for scammers.
Educate Yourself on the Signs of Scams
There are a lot of sites dedicated to catching scammers and educating people about how to avoid them. They invest their time hunting out bad apples that have the sole purpose of stealing our information or identity.
Even though these knights in HTML-armor exist, it is nice to have your homework done before searching for something like life insurance. Don't allow yourself to make any common mistakes of caregiving simply because you were lazy and unprepared. Here is your homework:
- Look into the company
- Read reviews from real people
- Know your options before committing
- Don't just go with the first policy
- Chances are, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is!
We live in a technology-driven age. While this makes us seem advanced, it also leaves us at a disadvantage. More and more companies do business online, and less is being done face-to-face, which can leave the general population vulnerable to scam attacks online.
Don't Get Caught in the Phishing Net
People exist in this world who phish for fun. This isn't the type of bait and tackle fishing that some people enjoy when the weather is nice on the side of a riverbank. Phishing is the act of using electronic communication methods (such as emails) to lure in people to collect their information like PIN numbers and passwords.
As a caregiver, you're responsible for not only the physical, at-home safety of the person in your care but potentially for other security, such as financial and legal matters. You need to be aware of the types of online scams that are particularly aimed towards the older generations.
Phishing involves a variety of industries and targets. There are phishing scams that span from insurance to pharmaceutical medications. Generally, these are going to come in the form of a text message or an email. Now it is possible that you can set up accounts to receive notifications this way. Still, initial contact shouldn't come in this form.
If you receive an email from a life insurance company, do your homework and call the phone number associated with it.
How to Spot Phishing
The FTC published a page on how to identify and stop phishing attacks. The example that they use is the Netflix hoax that was circulating the internet and flooding people's emails.
Phishing emails generally involve companies you recognize, say things that are believable just like the following:
- "We have noticed suspicious activity or login attempts on your account. Please use the link to verify your information."
- "Your payment information did not go through, please click the link to update your payment information."
- "We are updating our records, can you please verify some of your information?"
- "Attached is an invoice, please pay promptly."
- "You were selected to receive government money, please click the link to claim."
- "You have been chosen to try a product, please click the link to select the coupon."
You may have never seen one of these emails. Most email providers recognize these messages as spam and send them straight to the spam folder before we can be lured in by them.
You can protect yourself further by making sure that you keep up with updates on your antivirus and security software on your computer. Using a multi-authentication login for your payment methods and financial information helps keep your accounts safe as well.
Phone Call Scams
Anyone can pick up a phonebook and find your information. If your number is listed, it is easy for someone who is pretending to be an insurance agent to call you and talk you into buying a policy. They may even arrange a time to meet with you to present the information with you.
Sadly the elderly are more vulnerable to these scams. These are often called "Grandma and Grandpa Scams." They work because the elderly are not as technologically educated as younger generations.
There was once a time that salespeople went door-to-door selling things like vacuum cleaners or other services rather than selling products online like today. The younger generations do not remember allowing people to come into our homes. The differences in society and the general mindset can make the elderly an easier target for scammers.
Identifying Phone Scams
Like the email scams, these are going to sound like they are from a reputable company. That is just how these people work. They prey on your sense of security by using well-known, trusted names. The biggest give away to these calls is going to be the Caller ID.
Most of these businesses, if they are real, will identify as such with their phone number. Calls that say "Private Number" or "Unavailable," you should probably be wary of them.
What to do When in Doubt
If you're worried about the legitimacy of electronic communication or phone calls from a company you work with already, be polite and tell them it isn't a good time to talk. After you hang up the phone, check their website. Many times, if enough people are informing them of these scams, they will post about it on their websites.
If you are still worried about whether to believe the information you have received, look up the phone number to the actual business and call them. Ask them to check on your account or look into the reason behind the communication or phone call.
Once you are satisfied, and if you receive another phone call, you can inform the caller that you wish to be placed on the do not call list. They have to honor this, or they can be reported for a violation.
About the Author
Sara Marcum writes for the life insurance site, CompareLifeInsurance.com. She is a mother of two boys and the stepmother to a little girl. When she isn’t writing, she likes to crochet and spend time with her family.
About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.
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