One in five elderly people will be financially exploited. Here are three quick steps to minimize the exposure to senior fraud.
Seniors are a prime target for swindlers.
According to the National Adult Protection Services Association, one in five elderly people will be financially exploited. However, only 1 in 44 cases are reported. That means 20% of all elderly people are victims of fraud, but only 2% of actual cases are reported.
These are several reasons for this growing epidemic.
- For one, elderly people have resources. They’ve worked their entire lives and have often built a substantial nest egg.
- However, society has become much more complicated than it was years ago, so seniors are less familiar with sophisticated scams.
- In addition, seniors can suffer from diminished capacity issues, something they didn’t have to deal with in their early years.
- Finally, technology has advanced so there are more ways to bilk seniors from their hard-earned savings.
In short, seniors are often preyed upon by scam artists.
Fidelity Investments put together a short document to help seniors in this situation. We have highlighted the top action items for seniors you may know to protect them from future scams.
Step 1: Create Oversight
Ideally, it’s best for more than one person to have oversight in a senior’s financial affairs. That way the elderly person is not dealing with new and sophisticated frauds alone. There would be another person there to help with the added complexities of life in 2017. So encourage your loved one to have a family member or trusted advisor act on their interest.
Step 2: Setup Alerts
Setup alerts whenever significant financial transactions occur. This will help catch problems as they are occurring. You can also monitor credit card and bank card statements to catch suspicious recurring charges. These steps help minimize the potential for scams for some of the elderly you know.
Step 3: Act Quickly
Finally, act quickly. If you are concerned about potential fraud, seek assistance early—problems will only get worse over time. Contact the financial institution involved as soon as soon as you notice something is wrong. That will help fix these problems quickly and prevent future issues.
Share With A Senior
Do you know a senior?
This would be a good article to share with them. Please forward along to a loved one and let’s protect one another from scam artists who prey upon elderly people.
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