Protecting Seniors from Financial Fraud
Senior citizens are all too often the target of fraudsters. Thieves often target the elderly knowing they have had a lifetime to build up financial assets. Many senior citizens worry about their finances and are vulnerable to fraudsters who convince them they can help manage their finances.
It is no small problem. Financial fraud costs older adults an estimated $5 billion according to the AARP. The actual number is much higher because the majority of elderly victims do not report their victimization due to embarrassment. AARP also reports more than two-thirds of these crimes are perpetuated by family members.
One of the best ways to protect a vulnerable member of your family is to get involved. A family agreeing to a formal arrangement in which one person does the heavy lifting but gives an accounting of their actions to the rest of the family keeps everyone informed and the family members’ finances safe.
If an elder family member does become the victim of fraud, it should be reported to local law enforcement and the National Elder Fraud Hotline 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311). Financial institutions and credit bureaus should also be made aware of the fraud that has occurred.