How Can Seniors Be Protected From Financial Scams?

By Justin S. Eppler

Some people target seniors for financial crimes. This can be someone the senior knows, such as a friend or family member, or an outside party that misrepresents itself to gain a person’s trust. In any event, it’s important for loved ones to take an active role in protecting the best interests for elderly relatives, as explained by Consumer Reports.

The more contact you have with a senior relative, the better. Not only does it satisfy a person’s need for companionship, it also allows you to stay aware of your loved one’s financial situation. For example, if the senior is suddenly complaining about a lack of money or is unable to pay bills, you can take steps to get to the bottom of the situation. Frequent contact will also allow you to get to know caregivers or other people in your elderly loved one’s life, as these people can also try to take advantage of the elderly.

If a senior is privy to numerous sales solicitations via phone and mail, it’s best to have them removed from company logs. Financial management can become more complex as a person grows older, especially when cognitive decline is an issue. As a result, it’s easier for a person to fall victim to scams, particularly when they make bold promises. Reducing the amount of correspondence will prevent your relative from coming in contact with possibly fraudulent offers.

You can also help the person set up fraud alerts electronically at the person’s bank. If your family member doesn’t use a computer or mobile phone, have alerts re-routed to your device so you can take action if there is any suspicious activity on the account. You can also suggest your loved one sets a daily withdrawal limit at his or her bank to prevent careless spending.