Ideally, we want to protect our loved ones from things like abuse and neglect. Especially our elderly loved ones who may fall prey to fraud and scams. Scammer and fraudsters are increasingly targeting a growing senior population. Yet, the Boston Globe reports on the ways that you can protect your elderly family and loved ones and help prevent them from falling victim to scams.
$3 billion. That is the estimated amount of money lost among seniors who fall prey to scams yearly, according to a study by the MetLife Mature Market institute. Further, 1 in 10 seniors will experience some form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Half of adults with dementia are victimized.
Financial elder abuse is one of the fastest growing forms of abuse. Most of this kind of abuse is committed by someone the senior knows, such as family members or caretakers. Scams from strangers tend to happen more quickly than the other kind of abuse.
There are five ways that you can help make sure that your elderly loved ones do not fall prey to scammers.
- Give a trusted advisor or loved one limited financial oversight. Have account statements sent to that person so they can oversee them for fraud, but do not give them access to the funds.
- Block Solicitations. If your senior loved one has access to email, you can opt out of commercial email solicitations. Eliminate robocalls by placing your loved on the do not call list or enroll in a service such as Nomorobo, which is free and offered by some landline providers.
- Give a caregiver some respite. It can be tempting for a caregiver who is struggling financially to access funds they are supposed to be keeping watch over. Monitor the caregiver and ensure that they are not stressed and get rest.
- Arrange for bank protection. Set up a small checking and savings account at a bank that offers spending limits. Arrange for other funds to be placed in a more secure account.
- One of the most important things you can do is visit or call them regularly. Be suspicious of new “best friends.” Also look out for the senior becoming isolated, unavailable regularly, or hesitant to contact anyone without a caregiver present. This may mean someone has undue influence.
By following these five steps, you can help to prevent fraud upon senior loved ones.
If you believe that yourself or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, let the experienced attorneys at the law offices of Schenk Smith fight for you. We may be able to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today.