Elderly adults are far too frequently the victims of financial abuse, fraud and scams; often perpetrated by a family member. To help protect seniors against financial fraud, experts advise that older adults create a network of trusted family members, friends and financial professionals to ensure that one individual is not victimizing their relative or client.
According to a recent Forbes report, elders who rely on a single caregiver for their financial and physical care can more easily become the victim not only of financial abuse but also neglect or even physical harm. And if seniors are dependent on one family member for their care, elderly adults may fear more harm should they report an incidence of abuse.
Seniors also need to be wary of phone and computer scammers; overseas robocalls or fraudsters claiming to be from a well-known company or a family member are on the rise. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative, elder abuse affects at least 10 percent of older Americans each year. The Senate Special Committee on Aging reports that American seniors lose nearly $3 billion each year to financial exploitation. IRS impersonators, robocalls, lottery or sweepstakes scams, computer tech support fraud and elder financial abuse by caregivers top the list of the most common scams targeting seniors in 2019.
By learning how to recognize financial exploitation and scams, older adults can protect themselves. Seniors and caregivers can stay informed about recent scams by reading the FTC’s scam alerts here. Learn how to block unwanted calls on a mobile or landline by following this link.