A recent report from the Elder Justice Roadmap reveals that more than 5 million American seniors are victims of fraud each year. The issue is believed to be under-reported as most seniors don’t bother to draw the attention of the authorities after suffering financial abuse.
Elderly fraud includes taking money or property illegally belonging to the elderly with or without the consent of the person. This might also include deceiving them from signing a deed or power of attorney, sending money through a third party for a deceitful purpose and using their property without due permission. This guide will assist you to protect your elderly loved one from fraud.
Know the Signs
Have you noticed that your elderly loved one is now facing challenges with finances and possibly can no longer afford his day to day needs? Are they sending huge sums of money to strangers? Or are they signing large checks to charity organizations? Such actions call for concern. This can be a sign that your aged parents might have been defrauded.
Know When to Step in
Deteriorating cognitive abilities are the primary reasons why the elderly is the main target of fraud activities. If you notice that your aged loved one is finding it difficult to remember recent financial activity, day to day issues or becoming more forgetful, it might just be the right time to step in and help them. Assume the role of a professional caregiver in this sense and prevent them from becoming victims impaired decision making.
Survey Their Financial Records
List out all the places your parents save their money and conduct a financial survey to see if you could find any suspicious activity. Investigate any financial transaction or funds sent to whom they can’t remember.
Know Their Friends
Prevent your parents from falling victim to “sweetheart scams” by getting to know who their friends are both offline and online. This can be a tedious, especially when they are not willing to open up with certain info. But you must make them understand that it’s for their good and safety. Share with them you too have professionals review your finances from time to time, so they do not feel like you think they are not able to care for themselves.
Even when you can’t find anything suspicious activity now, don’t relent. Stay informed on their financial activities as much as you can. Let them know about it and help them understand the importance of their financial records online.
It is important that you take the time to do some easy research online or wherever you gather your “What’s Happening” information. Share with them what are the current scams, let them know there are people who have lost their entire life savings falling for these professional scammers.
Be sure they understand as best as possible not to open emails that say they are from the government, the bank or any financial company that want them to click on a link to their financial documents and it is probably fraud. Ask them to forward those emails to you so you can review if they are real.
Helping the elderly stay away from fraud is not easy but very important. ElderLink has been helping seniors and their families for over 80 years, we are here to assist and only a phone call away. When you need additional help with elder care, you can contact us (Elderlink), and we will be glad to help 800 613-5772