When asked if they thought they might be susceptible to financial elder abuse or fraud, the vast majority of surveyed adults in their 50s through 90s – 81%, in fact – felt confident that they would never fall for a scam. Everyone wants to believe we’re too savvy and knowledgeable to fall into financial abuse. But the truth is, many scammers are smarter and even savvier.
And even though we may assume financial elder abuse occurs only at the hands of strangers, in reality, as many as 2/3 of all financial crimes are committed by individuals the victim knows and trusts. However, there are ways seniors and their children can protect themselves against financial abuse:
- Register with EverSafe (or a similar service) that provides alerts when unusual financial activity occurs
- Make sure all incoming funds are deposited to the senior’s bank account through direct deposit – never through paper checks, which could more easily be confiscated by others
- Assign a designated financial power of attorney who can manage finances if the senior is no longer able to do so at some point
- Complete a Trusted Contact Form at the bank, which allows for a hold on funds when financial exploitation is suspected until the trusted contact person has been notified
It’s also good to know that the Senior Safe Act has recently been signed into law to further protect older adults from financial abuse, which encourages reporting of senior financial fraud and protects banking institutions against liability.
For additional safety against financial and any other types of senior abuse, contact JFS Care. Our care managers are fully background checked, bonded, and insured, and we hire only those we would feel comfortable caring for our own family members – providing an extra measure of security and peace of mind. Our care managers can help with:
- Assessing the level of care a person might need
- Evaluating the home for fall risks and potential safety modifications
- Mediating discussions regarding care needs and/or concerns among family members
- Prioritizing care issues
- Identifying other health care professionals and resources that can help
- Overseeing care on an ongoing basis as needed
- And more