Financial Fraud against seniors leads us to believe these aren’t just petty criminals. Smart perpetrators know how to manipulate people on a massive scale. We explain how caregivers can help prevent elder fraud and offer ways to protect seniors from scammers.
Millions of our aging senior population sadly fall prey to scams, fraud, and identity theft every year. A lot of this deceit happens because older adults are more trusting of people whom they don’t know. They are far more open to chatting with others because of isolation, leaving them more vulnerable to these types of scams. However, to reduce the risk of scams there are some simple steps to take. Whether it directly affects your elderly loved ones, it is important to become familiar with them and take a personal stake in their financial wellbeing. Who knows, you may be their last line of defense against fraud. Financial Fraud against seniors leads us to believe these aren’t just petty criminals. Smart perpetrators know how to manipulate people on a massive scale. We explain how caregivers can help prevent elder fraud and offer ways to protect seniors from scammers.
Keep Personal Information Safe
Limit access to Social Security and Medicare numbers. Try to keep all physical cards stored in a safe or other secure location like a bank deposit box. Neither you nor your elderly loved one should carry these items in a purse or wallet unless necessary. Additionally, advise your elderly loved ones to avoid sharing maiden names, as well as the place and date of their birth. Sign up for identity theft protection to monitor personal and financial information. This type of protection can offer aid and assistance to an individual. Also, while they are home be sure to keep all financial and personal documents in a safe place. Behind lock and key is best.
Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs
A proactive approach is one of the strongest barricades against financial elder abuse. Often, one of the first warning signs of a potential scam is when unexplained bank account withdrawals occur. Take the time to call and shop around before your loved ones make a purchase. Attend their shopping sprees to offer some perspective to help them make tough decisions. Take heed to any new unfamiliar authorized users added to the account. Also, suspicious signatures on documents should be investigated immediately. They should also be alert to any abrupt banking or attorney changes made by any loved ones.
Be Aware it is Rarely a Stranger
Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by the elder’s family members, most often their adult children, caregivers, and others. Both you and your elderly loved one must remain cognizant of warning signs regardless of whom you are associating with. Common tactics include depleting a joint checking account, outright theft, and other forms of abuse.