While many of us would like to assume that people generally have our best interests at heart, this is not always the case. In fact, many fraudulent schemes have been designed specifically to take advantage of aging individuals, as they tend to be more trusting and may have substantial financial assets. From suspicious phone calls to internet scams, there are multiple ways that you or your aging loved one may be preyed upon by dishonest companies or individuals. Let’s look at a few steps you can take to better protect yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to fraud against senior citizens.
Check in With Your Aging Loved One Often
If you have a beloved senior citizen in your life, it’s important that you regularly contact them to monitor their well-being. That way, you can become suspicious of sudden changes in their behavior, such as increased anxiety or hesitancy to speak with you. Sometimes, an aging person will suddenly claim to have a new best friend, or a caregiver who goes above and beyond their duties. Be wary of this shift in dynamics, as some people may try to take advantage of senior citizens and exert too much influence over them and the decisions they make.
Opt Out of Solicitations
Many companies specifically target elderly people by bombarding them with solicitations and offers through the mail. If you want to block unwanted offers, you can ban up to five years of such mail at a time by visiting Direct Marketing Association’s website here. Robocalls and other phone solicitations can also easily entrap elderly people, especially if they feel socially isolated and yearn to simply converse with someone over the phone. You may want to consider using a third-party call-blocking service to screen for potential phone scams.
Consider Financial Protections
If you are concerned that your loved one may make irresponsible financial decisions, such as falling prey to certain scammers requesting money, you may wish to consider setting up a few safeguards. For instance, you could work with the senior citizen’s bank to request that statements and alerts be sent to you or another trusted individual so that the account can be monitored for fraudulent activity. You might also consider creating a small account at a local bank with a modest spending limit, keeping the majority of the funds in a separate and more secure account.
If you need assistance with an elder law or long-term care planning matter in the Spokane Valley area, reach out to the dedicated and compassionate legal team at Legacy Law Group at (509) 315-8087 today.