As a senior citizen in California, you’re probably invested in preserving your estate to ensure you can leave assets to your family upon your passing. Unfortunately, many people target seniors with fraudulent financial offers, which can result in the loss of money and property. In order to properly safeguard yourself against fraud, the National Council on Aging offers the following advice.

Know What to Say to Solicitors

Calls and visits from solicitors may not always be on the up and up. Accordingly, be sure that you state clearly that you don’t provide account information to unknown solicitors until you receive more information. Always request that terms and agreements are provided in writing and ask for information on the salesperson, including the company he or she works for and information regarding their business licensing.

Make Use of Direct Deposit

You also run the risk of having checks and other items stolen directly from your mailbox. In this case, you can utilize direct deposit so that funds are diverted directly to your bank accounts without the need to issue a paper check. While it seems unlikely, even family members can be guilty of stealing funds from elderly loved ones. Direct deposit will prevent any unauthorized individuals from taking what belongs to you.

Protect Your Identity

Identity theft can affect everyone, but seniors are especially vulnerable. That’s why it’s crucial that you take the proper steps to keep identifying information out of the wrong hands. You can do so by shredding any documents (such as receipts) that may contain credit card or financial accounting numbers. You should also be wary of filling out forms online when making purchases, unless you are sure that the retailer is reputable.