Scam-Blocking Debit Card Protects Grandma's Money from Shady Characters

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Kissing Grandma
Getty Images
It's no news that senior citizens are a favorite target of scammers, shady salespeople and even relatively legitimate marketers, because, sadly, they can be fairly easy marks. Well, a new prepaid debit card aims to protect the elderly from such dangers by giving their adult children control over their spending.

The True Link Card is a new prepaid Visa card that comes with various fraud-protection measures build in to help you prevent your older family members from blowing all their retirement money. If grandma has a bad habit of buying stuff from infomercials or telemarketers, for instance, you can set the card to automatically reject such purchases. In other cases, you can set purchases to automatically trigger a text message to the person who set up the account, giving them the option to accept or decline the charges. And it offers a growing database of what it calls "problematic merchants" -- that is, scammers.

True Link's young founder, serial entrepreneur Kai Stinchcombe, tells Fast Company that he came up with the idea for the card after discovering that his grandmother was writing four checks a day to fraudulent charities. "Monitoring my grandmother's finances has required endless hours and countless difficult conversations," he says on the company's website.

The TrueLink has an annual fee of $20 after the first year, which is unusual for a credit card that doesn't offer rewards points.
Sponsored Links
But in this case, it's easy to see how the card pays for itself by keeping money in your elderly relatives' bank accounts -- and by saving you the time you would otherwise spend trying to keep their spending in check.

And it also helps protect grandma from spending that isn't fraudulent, but is still ill-advised. Because it's a prepaid debit card and not a credit card, you don't have to worry about her racking up huge balances. You can also set limits on transaction amounts and ATM withdrawals, or set the card so it can only be used for in-person transactions. And the company is always on the lookout for companies that use shady fine print to trick unassuming shoppers into buying more than they need.

If your elderly relatives are cognitively impaired, or they're simply not adept at spotting scams, then this could be a great way to protect their nest egg from being chipped away by bad purchases.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

15 PHOTOS
13 Things That Seem Like Scams But Are Actually Great
See Gallery
Scam-Blocking Debit Card Protects Grandma's Money from Shady Characters
The site lets you know when movie screenings are happening so you can score free tickets.
The yellow cleaning spray named "Awesome" from the dollar store evidently lives up to its name. The guy who recommended it said that it really should be priced higher and he's never used it without gloves.

The dollar store toilet bowl cleaner named The Works is so strong it can etch concrete.
The cellphone company is designed to save you a bunch of money on your plan if you switch away from a major carrier.

This guy loves it: I seriously only pay $45 a month for unlimited everything for my Google Nexus 4 and also get great service since I have a AT&T compatible SIM card with them. Basically my service runs off of AT&T towers just without me having to pay $100 a month. It is cheap, and in the long run saves you a lot of money.

These seem like a clever ploy by Big Detergent to force you to spend more on rebranded soap.


Well, as it turns out they actually really work out well. Almost everyone uses a little too much detergent in their wash, but these little pods actually do the trick.

When one guy's friend hit a deer and had to unload his totaled car, JunkMyCar.com offered nearly six times as much for the Camry than local junkyards:

Submitted the request online, guy came out (to him) a day or two later with a truck, looked the car over to make sure everything checked out with the specs he submitted, handed him a check, and left with the car. Check cleared with no issues.

My guess is that they can give such a higher premium because they scrap the car and sell the parts online, so they'll have a much higher turnaround. Either that or it's some really eccentric millionaire finding new ways to pass the time.
I can personally confirm that Linux is awesome.

Here's why: "You mean I can get a fully-functional operating system for free, just download it off the website, and it's faster, more secure and easier than Windows? And it has thousands of free programs with it? And they're offering more and more games that often play better on Linux than Windows? Sure , whatever...."
But it's true!
It's a neoprene jacket you put on animals to reduce anxiety. It accomplishes this by gently squeezing them all over.

Got it for my frenchie who was going through anxiety after we moved, and it totally works on the short term and on the long term.

This pet comb really works: Furminator brush, a metal comb with tapered grooves that removes undercoat and reduces shedding. It's not a surprise it works, but how well it works. The ad photo with the husky surrounded by a giant pile of fur is exactly what happens.

Another endorsement: Bought a furminator yesterday and felt like a dumbass for spending $45 on a damn cat brush. Then I had a pile of fur twice the size of my cat.

Photo: sundaykofax, Flickr.com and _Tar0_, Flickr.com

Several people swear by this blender. The issue is that it's sold through infomercials which instantly sets off everyone's B.S. alarm.
You know those ads on television for sites offering free credit reports? Don't use those websites.
Congress made the credit report companies provide people with one free credit report per year, so they did that with AnnualCreditReport.com, but then made several easily confusable clones that charged money.

Here's the explanation: Annualcreditreport.com is run by the U.S. government and is designed to comply with the law requiring credit bureaus to give you your reports for free every so often.

Freecreditreport.com and sites like it are businesses who charge you money for these same services (or require that you bundle pay services with the free service of getting your report) [...] they're preying on the people who were trying to get their free report and just went to the wrong web address.

It's 100% Congressionally-mandated legitimacy. Check it out: AnnualCreditReport.com.
We're talking about Mr. Clean Magic Eraser kind of products. It perfectly breaks down any kind of material from very fine cracks and textures.

People use these on white sneakers to wild success, and one Redditor cleaned a horrifying tub in a new apartment to the point it looked like new. One guy used a similar product, Barkeeper's Friend, to get a sharpie'd genital off of his fridge.

RainX is the stuff you spread apply to your windshield that repels rain, meaning that you don't actually have to use your windshield wipers.

Here's one Redditor's endorsement: First, it will last a lot longer than a few days if you follow the directions to a tee. If it's at all cool air temps when you apply it, turn on your defroster for a while to heat up the window. Helps a lot. When you get up to speeds that make the rain "skitter" off the windshield, stop using the wipers; this speed will vary depending on the angle of your window. [...]

Photo: Kjarrett, Flickr.com
Lastly, I've heard Aquapel makes Rain‑X appear as though a drunken monkey had smeared feces over your window in comparison. I can't personally speak to this, as I cannot afford Aquapel.  Sounds fun.

Sold by the late but legendary pitchman Billy Mays, the sodium percarbonate cleaning product is actually really, really good at cleaning anything.

Granted, you can get the same chemical off-brand at a pool supply store for a fifth of the price, but the stuff just annihilates stains.
HIDE CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION
Read Full Story
Credit Card Compare

Credit Card Compare

Whether you're looking for great travel rewards or low annual fees, find the card that's right for you.

Compare Now

From Our Partners