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Financial Safety

Fraud

Aging Tips

  • Have caller ID installed on your phone or use an answering machine to screen all calls. Don't answer calls from unknown numbers and remember, it is ok to hang up on callers 
  • Have duplicate copies of accounts sent to a trusted family member
  • Use a shredder for any paperwork with identifiable information on it
  • Only use licensed and bonded caregivers
  • Keep in regular contact with family members
  • Never be ashamed to ask for help if you feel you have been scammed

 

Elder Abuse 

Knowing the warning signs of financial elder abuse is becoming crucial. During periods of economic hardship, the elderly seem to become targeted aggressively by thieves and scammers. Most grew up in the time when a hand shake was how you sealed a deal, but times have changed. Financial exploitation is on the rise making it important to know what to watch for. 

Some of the most common examples are:

  • Cashing an elder's check without their knowledge or permission
  • Forging a signature
  • Stealing possessions
  • Deceiving the elder to sign over property or to change a will or other contract

Some other things to watch for are:

  • Sudden changes in bank accounts and checks made payable to cash
  • A new best friend who isolates from family and may even accompany them to the bank
  • Unexplained large credit card transactions
  • Signatures on checks not looking quite right

To many, family is the most important asset they have and thieves know this. The "grandchild in distress" scam has become very popular in the past couple of years. Never give in to these distress calls without contacting all family members involved to verify the need. It is better to take the risk of making someone upset than to lose thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, family members make up the largest group of elder abusers. 

If you supect financial abuse of an elderly person you should:

 

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