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Senior Scams to Watch Out For

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If you’re lucky, you haven’t been the target of a scam, even luckier if you have been targeted but managed to figure out what was going on before you got swindled. The problem with scams nowadays is that they are so easy to perpetrate due to the low cost of running them. Many scams happen through the mail, email, or phone. Through the mail, if you receive something you were not expecting, it’s best not to believe it, especially if it’s something that sounds too good to be true. The same goes for email.

A common email scam is called the Nigerian Prince or 419 scam. This scam involves an email from someone claiming to represent a distant family member of yours. This family member is dying or sick and they need you to take their money. Another example is that the email is claiming to be a foreign government or agency needing your assistance. The sum of the money is usually in the millions. All you have to do to receive this money is to give them your contact info and wire them some money for fees.

It may sound like a crazy scam, but it is a huge industry in foreign countries because it costs almost nothing to send these emails and if they can just get one person to send a few thousand dollars it makes it worthwhile.

In regards to seniors, there are many disreputable people out there looking to take advantage. Below are some of the common scams that have been discovered that specifically target the elderly.

Investment Scams
Many seniors are planning for retirement and thus looking to invest their nest egg. People take advantage by offering investment schemes that are looking to take your money. Before investing anything with these groups or individuals, it is best to get a second or third opinion from a trusted friend or professional.

Sweepstakes Scams
Everyone loves free money, and scammers love to target this. You may receive a phone call, email, or letter claiming that you won a sweepstakes or lottery. All you have to do is send them a payment to unlock the prize. They will even send you an official looking check to make it look like you really won, but when you go to deposit the check it turns out to be fake.

The Grandparent Scam
This scam is scary, because it preys on your willingness to help your family. I have actually seen this scam in action and knew someone who was very close to sending the scammers money. The scammer will call you, claiming to be a relative like a grandchild. They will often ask “Hi Grandma/Grandpa, do you know who this is?”. That way they will know that you already think they are your relative. Then they will bring up a problem about finances like a late rent payment or they need money for some unexpected issue. They will ask for the payment through Western Union, MoneyGram, or even Visa Prepaid cards. The scammers will ensure you tell no one by saying “Please don’t tell my parents”. If you ever encounter something like this, the best way to ensure it is truly a relative is to ask them something only they would know such as their mother’s name, pet’s name, favorite vacation spot. Asking for money through Western Union is often a sign that it is a scam.

Telemarketing Scams
These scams are easy to perpetrate because they involve no paper trail or face to face interaction. Once the scam is complete, it is nearly impossible to recover money. One way to avoid phone scams is not to take calls from anyone you don’t know personally, especially if that person is bringing up the subject of money.

One common phone scam is to call and tell a person they found a big sum of money and will split it with you if you make a payment in good faith. There is often a second person involved who will act as a professional like a banker or lawyer to add legitimacy.

Charity scams are huge! They are increasingly targeting seniors; the worst ones targeting those with memory loss or dementia. If a charity calls on the phone, no matter what they ask don’t donate! It can be hard to say know to a fund that says they will help children or animals or some other cause, but many of these charities will end up donating only a small portion of the funds they raise and keep the rest for themselves. Sometimes, the callers claim to be charities and are actually fakes. Your best bet is to take down the name of the supposed charity and look them up on a site like Charity Navigator or Charity Watch that tracks charities and their finances.

Resources
Charity Watch
Charity Navigator
Senior Frauds– FBI
Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors – National Council on Aging

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Senior Resource Guide

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To all the savvy seniors out there! We wanted to put together a resource guide for you. This guide will be like a directory just for topics, websites, and information related to the older demographic. You won’t have to search Google and navigate to tons of sites to find the information you need. Now you can just look under the specific topic you’re searching, and find sites that we’ve checked out and found useful.

Below are links to sites that cover everything from travel to recipes to fitness to crafts. I hope you find this helpful! Please pass it along to any friends or relatives you think will find this useful.

Arts & Crafts

Pinterest
This site is like a huge scrapbook. Just search for anything and you will get images that link you to different websites. Just be careful, sometimes people post images and you can’t find them on the site.

Golden Careers
Lots of creative craft ides just for seniors!

Entertainment

Fun Section | AARP

Games for Seniors

Finances/Money

Senior Resource Guide | Money and Jobs Section

Senior Finances Toolkit

Financial Scams Target Seniors

Fitness

Senior Exercises | WebMD

Exercise Plan for Seniors

Food

25 Easy Recipes for Senior Nutrition

Easy Recipes for 1 or 2 People

Senior Resource Guide : Food Section

Health

Senior Health | National Instutute of Health

Nutrition Advice Every Senior Needs | TIME Magazine

Health | AARP

Safety

Our Guide for Hurricane Preparedness

Scams Targeting Seniors
It’s important to constantly be on the alert when anyone brings up the subject of money. Unfortunately, many scammers are taking advantage of seniors, so it’s good to familiarize yourself with the common tactics they use.

Technology

Personal Technology | AARP

Travel

Senior Travelers | CDC

Senior Traveler Section | About.com

Travel | AARP

Working & Business

Small Business | AARP

Senior Job Search | AARP
You’re never too old to work!

 


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Online courses to expand your brain

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If you’re a lifelong learner, you probably frequent the library and read tons of books, magazines, and journals. You might even listen to a podcast or two. But have you tried online learning? No, not enrolling in a degree program online. I mean finding courses on specific topics you’re interested in! Sites that host these courses range from universities like Stanford to paid-for courses on sites like Udemy and Udacity. There are also sites that offer training in a variety of subjects and allow you to sample them all for a set price. There are tons of these courses available online to grow your skills and knowledge, let’s get into them!

Coursera
This site offers both free and paid courses on subjects as varied as business, computer science, arts and humanities, and language. Many courses are offered for free, but some give out certificates for those who pay the fee. Courses are taught by universities all across the world.
Example Course: Ancient Egypt | University of Pennsylvania  (Free)

Udemy
At this writing, Udemy offers over 30,000 courses. Courses are taught by anyone from a business owner to an expert in Photoshop to an enthusiast who just loves the subject. Many courses are great, but buyer beware, you should read the reviews to ensure a course is right for you.
Example Course: Chinese Made Easy (Free)

Udacity
This site is offers much more specialized courses. They all specialize in technology like web development, iOS, and data science. There area few non tech ones like How to Build a Startup and Product Design. Their main offerings are nanodegrees. These include tech entpreneur, data analyst, android developer, and more. They cost money, but if you’re going to do an online program in any one of these you might as well do it through these guys. Many programs have industry partners like Google and Facebook to help teach you everything. You can even start a free trial just to see what it’s like.

Lynda
The name doesn’t tell you much, but if you know anything about online learning you know that Lynda is one of the best sites out there. The site offers tons of video courses taught by experts to teach you skills in software, creative, and business. When you get a membership, you get unlimited access to all 4,400 video courses.

Stanford
This renowned university offers access to many of its courses for free! You can learn about Martin Luther King Jr, Cancer Clinical Trials, Cryptography, and Introduction to Computer Networking. These courses are great for those looking to indulge their curiosity in a variety of subjects and topics.

 


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Fun Family Outings in Naples

 

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Get out in Southwest Florida and spend time with your whole family! When you’re not working, you’re probably looking for ways to bond with your loved ones.

  1. Explore new worlds at the Naples Zoo
  2.  Beat the heat at Sun N Fun Lagoon
  3. View beautiful flora at Naples Botanical Garden
  4. Take the kids for some fun and education at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples.
  5. Make something unique at Earth & Fire Ceramic Studio
  6. Head outside for some sports or playground action at Cambier Park
  7. Support your local Everblades hockey team
  8. Bring your 4 legged family member for a day at the Dog Beach
  9. Watch the Fort Myers Miracle in action
  10. Bowl your heart out at Beacon Bowl
  11. Hit the links with some mini golf at Congo River Golf or Golf Safari Minigolf
  12. Do a little shopping, dining, and sightseeing at Tin City
  13. Learn about our local natural life at Rookery Bay
  14. Get up close with the birds at The Bird Gardens of Naples
  15. Take a nature walk at Freedom Park

Don’t miss!

Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 12 11am-2pm
5th Avenue South
Wear your green and enjoy the revelry of the 40th annual Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade, followed by an all-day celebration at Sugden Plaza. The parade staging area and beginning of the parade will be at Saint Ann’s Church in Old Naples. The parade travels down 3rd Street South to 5th Avenue, then goes down 8th Street South to end at Crayton Cove.