Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Top Five Scams That Target Retirees

Written by Ilyce Glink on April 18, 2014 in Retirement  |   3 comments

According to Fraud.org, a project of the National Consumers League, 26 percent of scam victims are aged 55 and older. Lonely or unprotected retirees are easy targets for fraudsters, who often prey on retirees’ need for companionship or cash. “They can be desperate for company,…

retirementAccording to Fraud.org, a project of the National Consumers League, 26 percent of scam victims are aged 55 and older. Lonely or unprotected retirees are easy targets for fraudsters, who often prey on retirees’ need for companionship or cash.

“They can be desperate for company, money, or stability, and when people are desperate in any kind of situation they do desperate things,” says Sharane Gott, president of the Better Business Bureau in Acadiana, La.

Here are five scams that target retirees:

1. Lottery and sweepstakes scams. The fake check scam is the most common across all age groups, according to Fraud.org’s Top Scams of 2013 report. For retirees, this scam usually comes in the form of a so-called “lottery win.” A victim is notified that he or she has won the lottery and needs to pay taxes up front. The victim receives a fake check, which he or she deposits into a bank account. Then the victim wires money to the scammer for the supposed tax charges. The fake check bounces, and the victim loses the money that was wired to the scammer—in addition to whatever amount is owed to the bank for the fake check.

“Stating a person is a winner provides a strong incentive. Scammers use fictitious addresses, take the cash, and never provide any winnings because there are no winners,” says Gott.

These scams usually occur over the phone, and scammers may call several times a day to build a relationship and earn a victim’s trust. The National Consumers League notes that nearly one-third of all victims of telemarketing scams are age 60 and older.

2. Phony debt relief services. “A lot of baby boomers are still struggling with debt. They don’t want to pass that to their kids, so they fall for debt relief scams,” says Gott.

Despite having some savings, many retirees have credit card or mortgage debt, according to the AARP. Debt relief scams promise to lower monthly credit card payments with an upfront fee. Once the scammers get the fee, they don’t provide the service. Debt scammers use an emotional appeal by promising a debt-free future to ensnare victims.

“With this one, you have to stick with the rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” says Gott.

3. Traveling worker scams. Scammers use door-to-door tactics to build trust and convince a victim that his or her house needs serious repair. Under pressure, the victim pays up front and the scammer leaves with the money, never intending to provide any services.

According to Gott, retirees may have a hard time not answering the door or phone. He says, “Baby boomers and older adults are typically much more trusting.”

The other reason for targeting this age group is the perception of wealth. “Older adults are thought to have a significant amount of money, which often attracts scammers or even a retiree’s own family members,” says Maggie Flowers, a senior program manager of economic security for the National Council on Aging.

4. Grandparent scams. Receiving a call from a loved one in danger is frightening. By impersonating a grandchild, scammers often get retirees to wire them money. The scammer doesn’t even have to know the grandchild’s name because the victim supplies it. When a victim asks the scammer—who calls sounding very flustered—“Is that you, Bill?” the scammer will respond with a story. “Yes, it’s me, Bill! I’m in jail and I need help, but please don’t tell my parents!”

The grandparent may not talk about the situation if he or she doesn’t want to embarrass the grandchild, leaving family members out of the loop. Gott warns that if anyone tells you to act urgently, that person should be questioned, even if it is a family member. If the situation involves your money and personal information, there’s always time to deliberate.

5. Computer takeovers.

In this scam, a person claiming to be a representative from a reputable company such as Microsoft or Norton calls to say a virus is hacking a victim’s computer and asks for remote access to fix it. If that is granted, the scammer can then easily gain access to sensitive personal information stored on the computer that can be used to commit identity theft. The scammer may also charge a fee for the fraudulent services being provided.

To prevent this scam, ask the representative to send written information and check out the business online or with the Better Business Bureau. “Chances are, if they won’t provide it in writing, it’s a scam,” Flowers says.

Other scams retirees commonly fall for include government benefit scams, in which con artists impersonate a government representative calling with questions about medical or tax information, and online romance scams.

To help prevent a scam, never give out personal information or send money on request. If there’s any cause for suspicion, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission or contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center. If a scammer already has access to your information, change your phone number and credit cards.

“A really quick fix for phone scammers is Caller ID,” Gott says. “That way, you don’t even pick up the phone.”

Ilyce Glink is the author of over a dozen books, including the bestselling 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In! Her nationally syndicated column, “Real Estate Matters,” appears in newspapers from coast-to-coast, and her Expert Real Estate Tips YouTube channel has nearly 4 million views. She is the managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog, publisher of ThinkGlink.com, and owner of digital communications agency Think Glink Media. In addition to her WSB radio show and WGN radio contributions, she is also a frequent guest on National Public Radio. Ilyce is a frequent contributor to Yahoo and CBS News.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Mr.Alvarez\Luis E. Alvarez Perez says:

    This is a very interesting article the “Computer takeover scam” is a scam most people should be aware of retired or not ,young and old. Though it is placed in this article as a scam that is experienced by retiree, I feel that most individuals can actual fall to this scam, it’s a scam something to look for.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      You’re right that it’s important for everyone – young and old – to remain vigilant against scams. Thanks for posting, Luis.

  2. Susan E says:

    I found it disturbing that when someone freezes their credit with Equifax that no one even needs the numerical code to unfreeze it.
    An identity thief only need their victims full name, address, and social security number and to call Equifax and claim they lost their code.
    I don’t see how a credit freeze is even worth the expense when there are hundreds of bank employees and health workers who have your private information.

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Retirement Archive