Did you know that elder financial exploitation was one of the top 10 consumer scams targeting seniors in 2017? In fact, the SEC reports that seniors who develop Alzheimer’s or other neurocognitive diseases are most vulnerable to financial exploitation. In this article, we explore 5 constructive ways to stop the financial exploitation of seniors.
Who Is Responsible For Elder Financial Abuse
Elder financial abuse is defined as the unauthorized use of a senior’s assets for personal gain.
Research shows that trusted persons commit 66 % of financial crimes against seniors. Generally, responsible parties are:
- medical professionals
- family members
- religious leaders
Financial exploitation can make it impossible for seniors to provide for their long-term financial, social, and emotional well-being.
How Perpetrators Take Advantage Of Seniors
Elder financial abuse is increasing, but many seniors are unaware of the risk. According to a Wells Fargo survey of 784 seniors, only 10% of seniors believe they are susceptible to scams.
Knowing this, perpetrators target seniors through the following methods:
- withdrawing money from checking accounts without authorization
- redirecting Social Security payments to other accounts
- using the power of attorney to take control of bank and investment accounts
- obtaining money to finance charity or romance scams
Congress has taken steps to protect vulnerable seniors, however. In fact, the 2018 Senior Safe Act makes it easier for bankers to report suspected elder financial abuse to law enforcement authorities.
Actionable Ways To Stop The Financial Exploitation Of Seniors
While the national effort to protect seniors is certainly encouraging, it is particularly important to remain on the alert. Below are 5 actionable ways to protect your loved one:
- Arrange for direct deposit for all Social Security and pension checks.
- To prevent abuses, choose more than one family member to have power of attorney. All in all, this is an effective way to spot suspicious will changes.
- Keep track of credit card expenses and account withdrawals.
- Begin the conversation about financial exploitation carefully. Talk about recent news stories highlighting scams. In the course of your conversations, you could uncover previously unknown information about your loved one’s financial concerns.
- Encourage your loved one to refrain from sharing sensitive information, such as bank account logins, over the phone or email. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to protect your loved one.
David York Agency Understands The Dangers Of Elder Financial Abuse
For more about how to stop the financial exploitation of seniors, be sure to explore David York Agency’s blog.
If you need more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 877.216.7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.
We’d also like to assure you that you can get answers to your immediate concerns by contacting us today.