Protect the Elderly
Financial exploitation among the elderly is a growing problem in the United States, costing senior Americans almost three billion dollars annually. Are you or your loved ones at risk?
What is senior financial exploitation?
Financial exploitation occurs when someone takes advantage of a senior adult for financial gain. This frequently happens without the express consent of the victim, defrauding them of vital financial resources needed for personal care.
Common types of senior financial exploitation include:
- Home Repair Scam: Criminals appear in person and charge homeowners in advance for home improvement services that they never provide.
- Family or Caregiver Scam: Relatives or acquaintances of the elderly victims take advantage of them, often taking their money or other valuable property.
- Grandparents Scam: Criminals contact their victims electronically or over the phone and pose as a relative, usually a child or grandchild, claiming to be in desperate need of money.
- Sweepstakes, Charity, or Lottery Scam: Criminals claim to work for a charitable organizations in order to gain the victims’ trust and solicit money. They might also claim that their targets have won a foreign lottery or sweepstake, which they can collect for a “fee.”
- Tech Support Scam: Criminals pose as technology support representatives, offering to repair non-existent computer issues. They are often able to gain remote access to victims’ devices, therefore gaining access to sensitive information.
What can you do to protect yourself or loved ones from financial exploitation?
- Be diligent about keeping sensitive information such as social security numbers, bank account information and any other information that a scammer might use for gain, in a safe place.
- Be cautious of mail and other correspondence requesting your personal information or payment in order to collect a prize. If you are unsure about the validity of a document, consult a trusted professional to help you validate it.
- Be careful what you click on or download while on the internet. Keep up-to-date antivirus and malware protection installed on your computer to help ensure your safety.
When we think about our golden years, we probably don’t think about losing everything we spent years planning for. However, with proper planning and education, it can be prevented. Click on the link below to learn how to identify scams and protect the elderly.