|The Seniors vs. Crime Project is concerned that buyers may have difficulty
making intelligent decisions when choices are so varied. We thought some
guidelines might be helpful. Click on the below links to find your guide.
Crime- Top Tips
Keeping your money safe
Use personal checks wisely. Most of the
information needed for ID theft is on a check.
If you need to wire money, go to your personal
bank. They have ways to track your money after
it is sent that independent companies do not do.
Never give your credit card or bank account
information over the phone to anyone who calls
you. Only if you initiate the call will you know
who you are speaking with.
You have 30 days to dispute credit card charges.
After that time the bank considers the
transaction consensual. Read your banking
Check your receipts BEFORE
leaving the register in stores for a “cash back”
amount. Make certain it is correct. If not, ask
for a manager immediately.
If you are concerned someone may “scan” your
credit card for numbers, place a piece of
aluminum foil close to your card. This will make
Check on an investment of charity before giving.
Do not allow them to “send you information."
Keeping you safe
Do not open the door to solicitors, but DO let
them know you are home if they call on you.
Post a NO SOLICITORS sign. Florida Statute #496
especially 496.410 controls solicitors bothering
Close your garage door when you are done inside
Keep your vehicle locked.
Keep your doors locked.
Stay in well lit areas.
Ask for an escort to your vehicle from the store
you just frequented if you feel unsure.
Many stores will permit their security to escort
The best defense we have found against
solicitors who wish to call you over and over
Ignore the call if you can.
Tell them you are glad they called. You are
bored and start talking about your health, make
up stories about your cat (even if you do not
have one), etc.
Tell them you think it is a sign from God that
they called you and give them your “testimony”
If they hang up on you, you have won. They will
not call you again!
Research a business online
Search for the business in your locale.
Read the comments. Do not stop at the
summary rating. We have found some companies
that have many complaints and yet still have an
'A' or 'B' rating.
The comments and complaints can alert you if the
deal is "too good to be true."
Another way to research the web about a company
or charity would be to go to your favorite
search engine, like Google, and type in the name
you are researching followed by one of the
following terms, "scam". "fraud, or "complaint"
and see what comes up.
Examples; Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Volkswagen.
Research Make/Model + Recall, Research Make/Model + Safety
Examples; 2 Door, 4 Door, SUV, Van, Truck, Motorcycle,
Seating, Trunk vs Hatchback.
Self-Explanatory. Does it matter to you? What color do
you NOT want?
Trade in value vs selling the used car separately. What
is your budget? Research prices.
New, Used or Lease:
Each have perks. Make sure you research what you want
carefully. Leases can
Accessories: Air Conditioning, Power Steering, Automatic vs Standard (Stick
Shift), Anti Lock Brakes, Power Windows, Power Locks, Theft
Deterrent System, Cruise Control, Interior (cloth, leather,
etc..), Power Seats.
Warranty: New Cars will have manufacturer warranty in place. Used- Is there a
preexisting manufacturer or extended? Do you want the extended?
Is it worth it?
Do you have money to put down? Have you contacted your personal
bank about a loan? Get “pre-approved” if possible. The
dealership will try to match or beat that APR so they get your
money. Know your credit score before you go. Ask your bank about
their APR for you. Research the current trend in APR for cars
both new and used.
Protecting yourself when buying a car:
Do not shop alone.
Do not give the dealership your keys for a car wash or oil
change. (exception is if they need to verify the quality of your
Know the “blue book” value of your current car if you plan on
Allow yourself ample time so you do not feel any time pressure.
(eat first, bring a drink, bring a book, puzzles, etc.. do not
Avoid “too good to be true” specials, like ‘final days’ or
‘clearance’ or ‘several buyers are interested’.
Have an exit plan or code word if you are ready to leave. “I
need a breather” works well.
Ask if you can take the car of your interest to an unaffiliated
mechanic. (for used)
Be ready to walk away. There are many cars out there!
Always get a “car-facts” for used vehicles.
What are you shopping for? Refrigerator,
Dish Washer, Washer/Dryer, Trash Compactor, etc..
If you are replacing a current appliance,
what size is the one you have now? Measurements.
What is your price range?
What special features are you looking for,
if any? “Side by Side” Doors, Ice Maker, Freezer on the top or
on the bottom, Energy Efficient, Compact, etc...
How important is that special feature to
you? How much extra are you willing to pay to have it?
What type of electrical service do you
currently have in place? Will you need to “upgrade” your current
outlet or need an electrician?
Do you want/need delivery and/or set-up?
Research fair market value of delivery and set up.
Make a plan not to buy on the first day.
Collect data about what you see and research what you want.
Do not shop alone so that you will be less
likely to be taken in by high pressure sales.
Look up the brands and models you saw and
liked for repairs, problems, reviews.
Get written estimates so you can compare
Measure your space so you know what you buy
Weight the pros and cons of rebates. How
long will they take? How much hassle will it be to complete?
Have an exit plan or keyword/phrase that
you and your companion know means you wish to leave.
What size do you currently use? Do you want
the same size or one bigger/smaller? Examples: Twin, Full,
What brand are you looking for (if there is
a preference)? Examples: Sealy, Serta, Sleep Number, etc
What Style are you looking for? (if there
is a preference)? Examples: Pillow Top, Firm, Memory Foam,
Will your new mattress fit your existing
frame or do you need to shop for different one?
Are you replacing both the mattress and box
spring or just the mattress?