The Most Common Signs Of Fraud Against Seniors
Learn keys to prevent fraud against your senior loved one.
Sadly, seniors are the preferred targets for many con artists and scammers. Seniors who live alone are especially vulnerable, so it's easy for strangers to trick them. If you notice your loved one has new friends, try to get to know them better and see if they mean well. Often, widows and widowers are more vulnerable than elderly married couples. Scammers usually read the obituaries and take advantage of the grieving widow or widower by claiming the deceased owes them money. Sometimes, even family members or friends may be the ones taking advantage of the situation.
There are certain signs and clues that can indicate that your loved one is the victim of a fraud. They include questionable behaviors such as unpaid bills, withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts that your loved one cannot explain, missing belongings, suspicious signatures on checks or other documents, the absence of documentation about financial arrangements, etc. In case you notice some of these signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your loved one is victimized, but it is wise to pay special attention.
The most common types of fraud are different investment schemes, Medicare and health care fraud, reverse mortgage scams, telemarketing, Internet fraud, and sweepstakes and lottery scams. It is important to talk to your loved one about these frauds so he or she can recognize suspicious offers and avoid them. It is also important to inform them not to give personal information to anybody. This way, you can protect your loved one and reduce the risk of financial abuse.
In case your loved one is victimized, immediately call Adult Protect Services (APS) or the Eldercare Locator toll. If you suspect someone has stolen your loved one’s bank account, you should cancel any debit or credit cards linked to the stolen account and reset the personal identification numbers.