6 Tips to Help Senior Citizens Avoid Financial Scams
Research has shown that seniors lose billions of dollars each year to financial scams. According to the Miami Herald newspaper, the elderly are often more trusting, less likely to report scams, and are sometimes poor witnesses. The following are 6 important tips to help seniors avoid elder financial abuse.
- Recognize Those Who Take Advantage of the Elderly
Unfortunately, people who prey on older adults are often those who are closest to them. These include family members, neighbors, friends, and even people who are paid care-givers. Research has shown that approximately 90 percent of those who would take advantage of an elderly adult are related in some way to their victim.
- List and Protect Valuables
Keep accurate records of all valuables. This could include everything from financial assets to valuable artwork in the home. It’s also advised to share this list of items with more than one relative. This will make it more likely to be noticed if property or valuables suddenly disappear.
- Safeguard Personal Information
As much as possible, limit access to Social Security or Medicare numbers. Maiden names as well as the place and date of birth should be safeguarded. Keep items such as a Medicare or Social Security card in a safe, secure location. It’s important not to carry these items around in a purse or wallet.
- Be Aware of the Warning Signs
One of the first warning signs that an elderly individual is being scammed is unexplained bank account withdrawals. Sometimes there will be sudden changes in banks or attorneys that the elder uses. Other warning signs include new signers authorized on accounts, suspicious signatures on documents, or bank statements that stop arriving.
- Stay Active
Seniors who stay active and socialize frequently are not as likely to fall prey to scams. It’s important for older individuals to develop a strong and reliable support system.
- Report Any Abuse
If financial elder abuse has occurred, this should be reported to the authorities as soon as possible. Only a fraction of these types of fraud cases is normally reported. Garcia, Artigliere & Medby handles a variety of elder abuse and wrongful death cases. It is a national law firm with attorneys that are committed to getting results as effectively and quickly as possible. When seeking the advice of elder abuse attorneys contact Garcia, Artigliere & Medby at 1-800-281-8515 for a free case evaluation.