Credit cards are great tools. But people of all ages need to be vigilant in monitoring monthly statements. Older family members are especially vulnerable to being charged either wantonly (such as an “innocent” recurring fee) or fraudulently. These things add up, even into the hundreds or thousands of dollars over time.
Small, Recurring Transactions
Most people will notice a large, possibly fraudulent transaction on their credit card. It’s the smaller transactions, often under $10 or $20, which can be missed. If you have an aging family member, look through their credit card statements to identify potential warning signs of credit card abuse or fraud.
Common Recurring Fees
It’s not uncommon to get pulled into a recurring fee under the guise of saving on the transaction. For example, a sales person might offer a promotional club to get discounts at the store. But they aren’t clear about the ongoing charges to join the membership. Or, an older person might have signed up for a membership service and forgotten about the monthly fee. Or, checked a box without realizing the implications.
Here are a few types of transactions to be looking for:
- Savings clubs
- Rebate shopping
- Grocery memberships
- Monthly charitable gifts
- Online access
- Magazine subscriptions
- Discount programs
- And more
Depending on what you find, you might need to assist with canceling one or more recurring fees.
To recap: Talk to your parents about the risk of monthly credit card fees. This conversation can help increase their awareness of potential scams and financial problems.
Do you want to learn more about decreasing the risk of financial fraud aimed at the older generations? We are here to help. Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.