5 Ways to Prevent Elder Fraud

elder fraud

$40 billion is stolen from seniors every year

Elder fraud often goes unreported, but it’s estimated that over $40 billion is stolen from America’s older adults every year. And unfortunately, this number keeps increasing.

For now, family caregivers are the first line of defense. We share 5 practical tips that help you protect your older adult against fraud and scams targeting seniors.

 

5 ways to protect seniors from elder fraud

1. Check in regularly
Check on your older adult’s financial situation on a regular basis. Discuss or review financial transactions, bills, and emails. That way you’ll get to know what’s normal versus activities that raise a red flag.

To learn more about helping with money matters, check out 5 Keys to Helping Aging Parents with Finances.

 

2. Be aware of elder fraud scams
Educate your older adult about different types of scams. Scammers take advantage of victims using telephone, email, or websites.

Older adults may not be aware that people would do such terrible things or that they can be so sneaky and clever. Review and discuss the National Council on Aging’s list of Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors with them.

 

3. Verify with a trusted individual
Let your older adult know they should always consult with you or another trusted person before giving any personal or financial information to a stranger.

Remind them that your only goal is to help them avoid ruthless scam artists and that you aren’t trying to control their actions.

 

4. Remove their name from call lists
Scammers can get phone numbers from telemarketing lists. Help your older adult sign up for the National Do Not Call registry to prevent telemarketer calls and reduce the possibility of elder fraud.

The National Do Not Call registry is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission. To sign up, call 888-382-1222 or register online.

 

5. Get up-to-date fraud prevention tips online
The Fraud.org website offers helpful fraud protection tips and posts regular updates and information. The fraud section on Snopes.com also has great information about different types of scams.

 

You might also like:
Get Rid of Junk Mail to Prevent Elder Fraud
5 Keys to Helping Aging Parents with Finances
How to Prevent Caregiver Theft

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Everything South City

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.

2 Comments

  • Reply October 10, 2016

    Joseph Dabon

    The article is very informative and if disseminated well, can help a lot of seniors.

    Unfortunately a lot of senior fraud are committed by those close to them, caregivers, family members, etc. So how are seniors to be protected from these predators that live with them?

    • Reply October 10, 2016

      Connie Chow

      That’s a great point. It’s a sad fact, but fraud by a trusted caregiver accounts for $6.67 billion out of the total $36.48 elder fraud committed each year. A small consolation is that it’s the smallest category of elder fraud. Source: True Link Financial’s 2015 report — https://www.truelinkfinancial.com/files/True-Link-Report-on-Elder-Financial-Abuse-Executive-Summary_012815.pdf

      One way to combat this is to be involved and keep an eye on hired caregivers in case there are signs that something underhanded might be going on. That’s not to say you should be suspicious of everyone, but just to keep your eyes and ears open and trust your gut. We’ve got some tips on that here — http://dailycaring.com/how-to-prevent-caregiver-theft/ and here — http://dailycaring.com/family-hired-caregiver-for-aging-parent-now-what/

      Another way is for families to keep in touch with their older adult and with each other. When everyone is informed of what’s happening, it will be clear how decisions are made and where money is being spent. If the family member in charge isn’t willing to share information, try to stay close to the situation, talk with your older adult frequently, and try to get information from any other source. If you suspect something is seriously wrong, you could consult a lawyer or contact the city’s Adult Protective Services, especially if the situation seems dangerous or abusive.

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