Financial exploitation of the elderly remains a major problem throughout the country, with elderly individuals and their children concerned about this. Fortunately, with the proper knowledge, it's easy to spot a scam and avoid it before it takes its toll.
Every year, financial exploitation of the elderly costs older adults nearly $3 billion. And with the number of elderly individuals on the rise, it's safe to assume that this number will increase in the years to come.
Here are some of the most common signs of elder financial abuse:
- Diminished mental capacity of an older individual
- Newfound interest in financial accounts and other assets
- Unusual financial activity, such as regular bank withdrawals
- Financial activity that the older individual has difficulty explaining
- New friends and/or advisors
- Disputes regarding financial activity and inheritance decisions
What can you do?
If you suspect elder financial abuse, take these steps:
- Talk to the individual about your concerns, as they may have a good answer to what's happening
- Explain what you're seeing and ask questions to determine if your suspicions are correct
- Pinpoint the person abusing your loved one, to put an end to it once and for all
After you take these steps, you can then discuss what to do next. If there was no financial loss, you may be able to simply move on. However, you shouldn't hesitate to help protect this person's legal rights.
For example, if your loved one was a victim of a financial telemarketing scam, you should collect as much information as possible and then decide how to take legal action to obtain compensation.