There are snakes and scammers, scoundrels and con artists lying in wait for their next victims of any age, but often retirees are the target of schemes because of their net worth and their vulnerability [source: FBI]. Beware of any interaction that just doesn't feel right. Even the smallest red flag about a person's character or intentions is worth taking a step back and asking for second and third opinions from friends and family. Beware of romantic interests who seem too eager to know everything about you or to share everything with you early on. It may be a forced and false intimacy in order to gain access to personal information. Sharing details of your life verbally gives access to details of what you have stored up in savings or in possessions, and letting someone into your home can give access to vital paper records and even electronic files with personal data.
Guard your information and your secrets until you're certain of their character and background. Feelings often lie, but criminal records or missing gaps in a person's story are very telling. Never share passwords or physical keys or give money for businesses or to help someone out unless you're absolutely sure of who a person is and how they will use your money. Safeguard what you've earned and worked so hard to attain, and use wisdom -- yours and that of personal and professional counsel -- in getting to know someone before you let them get too close.