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Jul 7, 2015 by |

Protecting Your Elderly Parents from Financial Elder Abuse and Fraud

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) gives tools and advice for people to protect their retired parents against fraud and scammers.

The growing elderly population loses billions per year as a result of fraud. Senior citizens are more likely to be defrauded than other age groups. It is easier for scammers to target them if their children don’t live nearby, as the lonelier they are, the more likely they are to get defrauded. Children of elderly parents can warn them to look out for fraud, or request power of attorney to handle their finances, but these methods can sometimes have bad emotional consequences.

The AARP provides several approaches for children of elderly parents to discuss their finances and how to protect themselves from fraud without hurting their feelings.

First, rather than simply telling an elderly parent to avoid what appears to be a scam, their children should explain why they need to be careful. They can also remind their parents of their own lessons not to trust strangers, and should be careful not to shame or blame their praents in doing so. Children of senior citizens can also use reverse psychology to make them realize their mistake, by asking them how you could make a similar investment. They can also make their parentsfeel like protectors of other potential victims by encouraging them to share details of what has happened to them in the hopes it will help the authorities catch the scammers and prevent others from being victimized.

Children with elderly parents should also look out for warning signs, and watch over their parents’ mail and phone calls. If they cannot do it because of distance, they should ask a trusted neighbor for support. Scammers often use lists with the names of past victims as candidates for future fraud such as “sucker lists” for sweepstakes and “investment opportunities”, so monitoring the type of mail and phone calls that an elderly parent receives can help determine if they are being targeted. They should also watch their parents’ accounts for unusual monthly charges, say Alameda County financial elder abuse attorneys.

Those with elderly parents should be aware of the kind of tricks used by scammers to conceal their real intentions. Some of the most common scams are the phony lottery, sweepstakes seeking upfront fees to enter or collect, government impostors posing as representatives from Social Security and Medicare, a fake grandchild who claims to be in deep trouble, offers for free or discount medications (including anti-aging drugs) or medical equipment, and credit card fraud and investment schemes.

Alameda County financial elder abuse attorneys also recommend changing your parents’ phone number or replacing the main line with a cell phone, which are targeted less frequently. They can put them on opt-out lists with the Direct Marketing Association to be able to detect the scammers’ mail and report them to the U.S Postal Inspection Service. They should also check their credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com to ensure that fraudulent new accounts have not been opened in their names.

Women over the age of eighty are more likely to be victims of elder financial abuse, as well as elderly people with a strong tendency to recklessness. They are even more vulnerable when they are suffering from post-traumatic stress for a few years after a tragic event.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles all types of elder abuse cases and financial fraud cases, including financial elder abuse lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at info@evanslaw.com.

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