Helping Seniors with Finances – How to Prevent Fraud

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,018
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care provides some tips on how to help your senior loved ones manage their finances, and tips to prevent them from becoming targets of fraud. This video will focus on how to prevent your parents from becoming victims.

    Mary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today I am discussing how to help your senior loved one with their finances. And now I want to talk about how to prevent your parents from becoming victims.

    We know you can't be with your parents 24/7 and screen all of their calls and activities. However, there are a few things you can watch out for to help protect your senior loved ones from becoming a victim of a scam. First, watch for unusual activity. Seniors who are scammed maybe embarrassed and try to hide what's happened. Watch for changes in their lifestyle as well as any other unusual financial or business activity.

    Second, be on guard for individuals who have befriended your loved one. Lonely or isolated seniors maybe vulnerable to conman who befriend them, and provide them with companionship. Ask to talk to your parent's new friend to find more about him or her. A thief won't stick around long to chat. Third, investigate organizations looking for money.

    Often seniors want to donate to organizations and other worthy causes. Help your loved ones check those out by requesting written information on the organization and review it thoroughly.

    Four, assist seniors with their financiers. If a senior can no longer handle his or her finances, encourage your loved one to put a plan in place that can help ensure bills are paid, and his or her assets are protected. That plan may include your senior's designated financial power of attorney.

    Fifth, destroy information that could be compromised. Make sure your senior shreds all financial information and credit card offers before discarding them in the trash. Sixth, seek out a second set of eyes. If you live at distance from your loved one or can't always be there, help your senior build the support network. This can include neighbors, friends, trusted church members, or professional caregivers like those from Home Instead Senior Care.

    Another good organization is called SALT which stands for Seniors and Law Enforcement Together. There are local chapters designed to bring together senior volunteers, law enforcement, and the community. They have 17,000 volunteers who go into the homes and organization of seniors to talk about safety and might be helpful to your parents.

    If you suspect that your senior loved one has become the victim of a scam, there are several things you should do. First, contact the local law enforcement agency where you parents live and file a report. By notifying them as soon as possible, you might help catch the conman and prevent other seniors from suffering the same fate.

    If your parent's bank account or credit cards have been compromised, contact the effective financial firms immediately. They can cancel cards and put stop payments on checks to prevent further loss. The FBI has a number of tips on their website to help senior avoid all kinds of fraud. Be sure to visit FBI.

    gov and search Senior Citizens for more details.

    Being aware of these common schemes, put you and your senior loved ones ahead of the criminals and less likely, to fall victim to their scams. That can ease a lot of anxiety and should be a load off both of your minds.