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How to identify financial abuse

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2021 | Elder Law | 0 comments

As people age, they face new concerns. When people think about elder abuse, they may think of physical abuse or neglect. Elder abuse can also come in the form of financial abuse.

According to the National Council on Aging, those who commit elder abuse consider financial abuse to be a low-risk crime.

Identify elder abuse

Wealthy and low-income seniors are at risk for financial abuse. The common types of abuse include:

         Grandparent scams

         Medicare scams

         Sweepstake scams

A stranger may call an elderly person and ask him or her to guess who called. If the senior guesses a grandchild’s name, the stranger confirms it. Then, he or she pretends to be the grandchild and may ask for rent money or other expenses.

Since many adults over the age of 65 have Medicare, a stranger can call and pretend to be a Medicare representative to scam the person out of money. Any time that an older adult suddenly makes excessive trades or frees up cash, it could be a warning sign.

Report suspicious activity

If there is any suspicious financial activity, financial advisors, adult children and caretakers should call adult protective services. They should also inform the police and the bank. A victim of financial abuse loses about $17,000 on average when scammed by a stranger. Those who face scams by those they know may face losses of around $50,000.

If an extended family member who stayed distant for years suddenly appears or convinces the senior to change the names on his or her accounts, this could indicate financial exploitation. Often, victims of financial abuse go unnoticed because they might be quiet about their finances.