Be organized, proactive, and aware to protect yourself, family and friends from financial abuse. Older Americans are increasingly becoming targets for fraud and financial exploitation. Most elder financial abuse involves scams, forgery, identity theft, or undue pressure to give someone access to property or funds by simply providing information over the phone. Fraudsters tell lies, make threats and use emotional manipulation to carry out their scams. Older adults are often targeted for such exploitation because they may be perceived as trusting, they may be cognitively impaired, they may have more funds available after a lifetime of saving, and potentially less exposure to technological advances.
Seniors can protect themselves from financial abuse by making sure financial records are organized and being aware of how much money is in all accounts. In addition, you can protect your assets by talking to someone at your bank, an attorney, or a financial advisor to discuss your options for ensuring your wishes for managing your money and property are followed in the event you become incapacitated.
Other activities to help protect yourself include:
Family and friends can also help by being aware of the many ways in which an older person may be financially exploited. There are many scams and frauds that attempt to get bank account information or Social Security numbers from the elderly to steal their identity or money. Be on the lookout for signs of possible financial abuse, including:
If you suspect that you or a family member have been the victim of elder financial abuse, take immediate action.
For more information, visit: PreventElderFinancialAbuse.org
1 2017 Older Americans Benchmarking Report: Findings from a Survey of Banks. Retrieved from https://www.aba.com/Engagement/Documents/2017-Older-Americans-Benchmark-Report.pdf
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), April 2019
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