Fraud and scams are a real danger to senior citizens, who are seen by scammers as easy prey for their schemes. The reason is that elders tend to be more trusting and less cynical than younger people. In addition, scammers view them as more naïve, not as educated on the latest methods and technology, which makes it easier to scare seniors into losing money.
It’s important to keep your eyes open for signs of this sort of unscrupulous activity to protect your loved ones. Learn the signs of senior fraud and what you can do to step in and stop this form of elder abuse that costs millions in damages every year.
Lack of Information or Recall about Finances
The first major red flag for senior fraud elder abuse is when your senior loved one doesn’t seem to understand or remember important financial information. If, for example, there’s a major withdrawal from their account that they don’t recall authorizing, that’s a definite warning sign of a problem.
Suddenly Hiring Extra Help
As people get older, they need help doing their daily activities. However, when they start suddenly hiring lots of extra help, especially if that help seems to consist of friends of their existing help, you could be looking at the beginnings of a fraud situation. Keep an eye out for sudden lawn care or home improvement contractors as well.
They Become Isolated
If your senior loved one doesn’t have regular contact with other people, they could be an easy target for scammers. It’s very easy for a stranger to stop in and take advantage of the situation if nobody is around to look out for the senior. These people are exploitative and they’re out for easy marks, which is what isolation provides.
Sketchy Behavior from Relatives
If your uncles, aunts, brothers or sisters are starting to act sketchy, you may want to step in. If, for example, they suddenly get access to bank accounts and funds, or if they refuse to discuss what they’re doing when alone with the relative. If they display sudden new large purchases while your senior parent’s bank account seems to be draining, it’s an obvious red flag.
Stopping Elder Abuse and Senior Fraud
It’s staggering how low the numbers are for reported incidents of fraud compared to the number of suspected cases that exist. According to the National Adult Protective Services Association, less than 2% of financial abuse cases involving seniors are actually reported.
If you suspect your elder loved one is the victim of elder abuse or senior fraud, you need to confront the perpetrator, call the authorities, and work with a qualified elder law attorney to get things straightened out.
If you’re in Ohio, turn to the experienced lawyers at Stano Law. We bring many decades of combined experience to the table in matters such as estate planning, probate, and the necessary steps one can take to avoid fraud situations. Get in touch with us today, and let’s talk about your case, and what you can do to protect your senior loved ones from financial abuse.