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What are some ways to protect seniors from fraud and scams? Fraud and Scams have become all too common throughout the nation. An average of $37 billion each year is stolen from seniors in the United States. According to statistics seniors are the most vulnerable to scammers especially if they have a disability or have to rely on others. Unfortunately, scams and frauds come in all forms, and answering a simple phone call can easily put you in harm’s way. I recently experienced someone trying to scam me, by attempting to rent a home that was technically for sale and not legally their house to sell. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too good to be true, it may be a scam. Thankfully, I did my research before providing anyone with all my personal information.

Even elderly residents that reside in assisted living facilities in Central Florida have been susceptible to those scammers. For example those solicited phone calls, mail from Nigeria promising to reimburse the senior with double or often times triple as long as they give bank account information and an initial $500. My advice to you is when you relocate your loved one into an assisted living facility, make sure their phone is a non listed number also monitor their mail, bank statements, and online use.

As a caregiver, you can help the elderly in your life avoid financial fraud and scammers. Start by discussing with the elder person about the common types of scams. Specifically when it comes to personal information and finances. Also letting them know to ask for details before giving anyone money and not committing to anything without a trusting person to review and help approve. Dr. Stacey Wood, PH. D, which is one of the nation’s leading experts of elder financial abuse, has 8 ways that caregivers can help seniors avoid scams and fraud.

  1. Stay involved in their life

This is the most important step. Try to stay as connected as possible with your loved one. By staying involve it will decrease isolation and risk of them getting scammed.

  1. Get a copy of their credit report every year

Since fraud and scams are so common, make sure to review their bank statements every year to make sure it’s accurate.

  1. Buy a shredder

By getting your loved one a shredder it will help them to shred any unwanted credit cards offers, financial statements, and receipts.

  1. Stay alert to signs of fraud

A good example would be someone, who is very frugal with their money taking a large sum out of their bank account. Or, if they suddenly have unpaid bills, collections calls or insufficient funds.

  1. Be aware of new friends and romances

According to statistics this the number one way to scam someone. New friends are always welcome; however, loneliness can be an open door for fraudsters. Romance scams are very common for seniors. They can easily convince your loved one that you don’t have the best interests at heart.

  1. Be aware of people who are close to your older adult

Not only strangers can scam seniors, but unethical family members or caregivers can easily pressure them to change their wills or give them a large sum of cash.

  1. Teach seniors about online and social media fraud

Online fraud is on the rise and it’s important to educate your senior loved one in regard to the dangers the online world can have. Educate your senior to always investigate if the person they are talking to is who they say they are. A red flag would be if they start wiring money overseas.

  1. Be supportive and sensitive after a scam

If your elderly loved one is ever scammed, they might feel ashamed and embarrassed about what happened. Make sure to respond to them in a warm and non-judgmental manner.

In conclusion, in this tech-savvy world, frauds and scams continue to be common. However, it’s important to raise awareness and speak to your loved one about the types of scams that are out there. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of financial abuse, do not ignore the problem. Talk to them and ask them non-judgmental questions about their financial situation. Report it to their bank and to the local authorities since financial fraud is a crime.

 

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About the author : Veronica Quiñones

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

Article by:

Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Recent Posts

Topics

By Published On: February 21, 2019Categories: Elder Care Resources

Share this article on social media!

What are some ways to protect seniors from fraud and scams? Fraud and Scams have become all too common throughout the nation. An average of $37 billion each year is stolen from seniors in the United States. According to statistics seniors are the most vulnerable to scammers especially if they have a disability or have to rely on others. Unfortunately, scams and frauds come in all forms, and answering a simple phone call can easily put you in harm’s way. I recently experienced someone trying to scam me, by attempting to rent a home that was technically for sale and not legally their house to sell. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too good to be true, it may be a scam. Thankfully, I did my research before providing anyone with all my personal information.

Even elderly residents that reside in assisted living facilities in Central Florida have been susceptible to those scammers. For example those solicited phone calls, mail from Nigeria promising to reimburse the senior with double or often times triple as long as they give bank account information and an initial $500. My advice to you is when you relocate your loved one into an assisted living facility, make sure their phone is a non listed number also monitor their mail, bank statements, and online use.

As a caregiver, you can help the elderly in your life avoid financial fraud and scammers. Start by discussing with the elder person about the common types of scams. Specifically when it comes to personal information and finances. Also letting them know to ask for details before giving anyone money and not committing to anything without a trusting person to review and help approve. Dr. Stacey Wood, PH. D, which is one of the nation’s leading experts of elder financial abuse, has 8 ways that caregivers can help seniors avoid scams and fraud.

  1. Stay involved in their life

This is the most important step. Try to stay as connected as possible with your loved one. By staying involve it will decrease isolation and risk of them getting scammed.

  1. Get a copy of their credit report every year

Since fraud and scams are so common, make sure to review their bank statements every year to make sure it’s accurate.

  1. Buy a shredder

By getting your loved one a shredder it will help them to shred any unwanted credit cards offers, financial statements, and receipts.

  1. Stay alert to signs of fraud

A good example would be someone, who is very frugal with their money taking a large sum out of their bank account. Or, if they suddenly have unpaid bills, collections calls or insufficient funds.

  1. Be aware of new friends and romances

According to statistics this the number one way to scam someone. New friends are always welcome; however, loneliness can be an open door for fraudsters. Romance scams are very common for seniors. They can easily convince your loved one that you don’t have the best interests at heart.

  1. Be aware of people who are close to your older adult

Not only strangers can scam seniors, but unethical family members or caregivers can easily pressure them to change their wills or give them a large sum of cash.

  1. Teach seniors about online and social media fraud

Online fraud is on the rise and it’s important to educate your senior loved one in regard to the dangers the online world can have. Educate your senior to always investigate if the person they are talking to is who they say they are. A red flag would be if they start wiring money overseas.

  1. Be supportive and sensitive after a scam

If your elderly loved one is ever scammed, they might feel ashamed and embarrassed about what happened. Make sure to respond to them in a warm and non-judgmental manner.

In conclusion, in this tech-savvy world, frauds and scams continue to be common. However, it’s important to raise awareness and speak to your loved one about the types of scams that are out there. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of financial abuse, do not ignore the problem. Talk to them and ask them non-judgmental questions about their financial situation. Report it to their bank and to the local authorities since financial fraud is a crime.

 

north-star-senior-advisors-fraud

 

Article by:

Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Recent Posts

Topics