Help protect older adults from financial abuse
Financial exploitation costs older Americans billions of dollars per year, according to several sources, including the National Council on Aging. If you have older parents, could they be vulnerable to financial scams and rip-off artists? And, if so, what can you do to help protect them?
Unfortunately, it is possible for anyone to become a victim. For a variety of reasons, older adults may be easier targets than younger people. And that is why, when interacting with your parents, you should look for these warning signs:
Suspicious new relationships – If your parent mentions something about a new friend, a romantic partner or some type of caregiver who seems to have taken a great interest in your parent’s financial situation, you may have reason to be suspicious. Do not be afraid to ask some questions.
Multiple checks written to same person or entity – If you think your parents may be making questionable financial moves, ask to see their checkbook. If you see several checks written to an unfamiliar person or business, you might be viewing evidence of a financial scam. If so, you will want to intercede before your parents get victimized again.
Changing power of attorney or beneficiaries –If your parents suddenly decide to name someone new as their “agent” (the person responsible for carrying out a power of attorney), you may need to investigate. And the same is true if your parents change the beneficiary designation on their investment accounts or insurance policies.
Unusual urgency to make an investment …
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