Senior fraud is reprehensible but unfortunately happens all the time. There are plenty of people who have no qualms preying upon society’s most vulnerable individuals. Seniors suffering from dementia or mental impairments are at risk but so are perfectly lucid, intelligent seniors who are simply too trusting or fail to safeguard their assets sufficiently. Here are some tips for keeping your senior loved ones safe, not just physically, but financially.
Senior fraud is rampant and sophisticated. There’s no shortage of stories, but here’s a recent example that cost victims up to $100,000 each. A group of scammers purchased marketing lists containing data about U.S. seniors. They identified high net worth individuals, called them and told them they had won a significant amount of money in an international sweepstakes. Before they could claim their windfall, the scammers told the seniors they needed to wire or mail tens of thousands of dollars overseas to take care of fees and taxes. Many seniors carried out their end of the deal. Not surprisingly, they never received a cent in international sweepstakes money.
Cognitive decline is an obvious reason some seniors fall victim to scammers. Another less obvious reason is many seniors are lonely and socially isolated. Scammers are good at what they do. They can be charming and charismatic. They know how to earn seniors’ trust. Seniors enjoy being lavished with attention, even if it comes from a stranger on the other end of the phone line. Seniors who live in an assisted living center in Oklahoma City are less apt to fall victim to financial scams because they enjoy plenty of social interaction and attention. They don’t need to try to please strangers to get it.
First and foremost, keep in regular contact with your senior loved ones. Ask what they’ve been up to. If they’ve recently made an interesting new friend, ask questions and listen for red flags. If your loved one suffers from dementia, take steps to limit their ability to access their accounts.
Be aware not all financial crimes against seniors are committed by outsiders. Plenty of caregivers and family members exploit the elderly people they’re close to. Discussing finances with anyone can be uncomfortable. Discussing finances with your elderly parents is no exception. Begin a dialogue early and gently. When you come across news articles about senior scams, share them with your parent. Explain that as their child, you wholeheartedly have their best interests at heart, always. Eventually, they may add you to their accounts so you can keep a close eye that their checks are being deposited and nothing is being withdrawn for a reason that’s not legitimate.
Overseeing and safeguarding senior finances can be hard work. One bright spot is the various options for affordable assisted living in Oklahoma City. Our impeccable facility, Village at Oakwood, delivers top-quality care in a cheerful, vibrant environment at a price you and your loved one may assume to be too good to be true. It’s not! Contact us to learn more.