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Financial Conversations with Fitz #101 - Conversation on More Scams and Senior protections - 03/27/2012

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Another great weekend of weather.  I am not going to say that winter weather is over so I don’t get blamed for causing one last snow storm - but it is really nice and warm.  Did some lawn work.  Major decision in my garage????  Put away snow equipment before I get the lawn mower equipment out. Did the NCAA women’s playoff games in Des Moines. Was exciting to see Pat summit and Brittany Griner from Baylor. The DOW looks to open on the up side. Grain Mrkets in for a wild week.  Trying to anticipate the Friday USDA report and balance Export news. Did see some anhydrous and tillage equipment in the field as we neared Des Moines.

Well, I can’t believe it that another really crazy ID theft and Fraudulently obtained tax refund checks. Has jumped up again.  These are US Treasury Refund checks and ‘Bank Checks’ are showing up at banks in the US. This is where a taxpayer has had their ID stolen and someone else filed a refund tax return in their name. The speed of the IRS system then goes ahead and issues the check until they get a chance to check up on the actual taxpayer. I know we heard about this at tax school but now it is happening. This is probably more of a concern to banks and check cashiers than the individual but I mention it so small business is aware of it. Most of the people I know and work with in the tax business do take the auto deposit route with their check, so beware is someone brings a check to you for cashing. The safest protection is to ask for several IDs on all check cashing. I have noticed more box stores asking for additional ID for debit cards. Don’t be offended if they ask. It is as much for your protection as it is for the merchant.

I want to mention some factors for the largest group that is a victim of ‘Financial Abuse’ in the country. This recent warning was sent out to all financial and securities people last week. This is our Seniors group. They used a report that was delivered by none other than Mickey Rooney who actually was a victim of this. Of course elderly abuse comes in many different forms of physical, emotional and financial. Unfortunately this often comes from a family member.  That is so hard to absorb not only financially as well as emotionally. Be sure you work closely with your local financial firms whether it is checking, CD or trading of securities. They will know all parties much better than a distant broker or banker. Be sure you set up the necessary papers with your family or financial advisors to help you with your financial affairs. I won’t go into all aspects today but will continue next week with some more details. The numbers are staggering - one in five or 7.3 million seniors have experienced this.  Our financial factors of continued volatility or the market, dropping of values of assets meant for retirement, high unemployment of people nearing retirement, more retirement programs being switched to management by the employee instead of the company, growth in the numbers of seniors and loss of cognitive ability of seniors. Will cover some specifics and how to solve them next week. We have the help here at TSB…



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