Tag Archive for: financial

According to the National Council on Aging, “estimates of elder financial abuse and fraud costs to older Americans range from $2.6 billion to $36.5 billion annually.”

 

If you suspect someone may be a victim of elder financial abuse, you should report it to protect the safety and health of the person you are concerned about. This financial abuse could involve theft, fraud, or various scams designed to take an elderly person’s money or property.

 

Whether the abuser is a family member, a caregiver, or a stranger, it’s important to remember that there could be a real threat to that senior’s checking and savings accounts. These accounts could be wiped out all at once or they can be drained little by little.

 

Some of the warning signs you should look out for when it comes to elder financial abuse include the following:

  • Unpaid bills piling up.
  • Concerns about how people are handling an elderly person’s finances.
  • Threats of utilities being cut off. (Note: Scammers will often ask you to pay with a wire transfer or a gift card. If you’re unsure, hang up immediately and call your bank or utility company at their official phone number and explain what happened.)

 

To protect yourself or a loved one from potential financial abuse, here are a few things to remember:

  • Do not give out personal information including account numbers, social security number, or debit or credit card numbers unless you are sure it is necessary.
  • Keep important financial documents locked up or in a safe and secure location.
  • For better protection when purchasing, pay with a debit or credit card.

 

Reporting elder financial abuse can vary by state. However, you should report suspected abuse to local law enforcement and the local Adult Protective Services agency. If you know where the suspected victim does their banking, you should report your concerns to them as well, so they are able to take the appropriate precautions.

 

When filing your report, be sure to include the name of the elderly person, his or her address, the name of the suspected abuser, and note what you believe to be happening. Add as much information and detail as possible to the report.

 

While reporting potential financial abuse can be overwhelming, remember that you are their voice. For more information about financial exploitation of the elderly and vulnerable adults, visit the National Adult Protective Services Association.