Financial Exploitation in the Senior Community - by Sasha Valli, Regional Financial Agency Broker
Spotting Red Flags & Seeking Help
Older adults, one of the most vulnerable groups in society, are being targeted for financial exploitation. In our fast-paced world, it has become even harder to manage their privacy and finances.
Social Security, for example, provides a regular and consistent income, which shows stability and predictability. This income is not often checked, which makes it easy for scammers to manipulate. Having an accumulated amount of assets is an indication of "wealth" where someone might be motivated to exploit for inheritance or cash sums.
Another example is caregivers. Caregivers are often trusted with financial decisions simply because they are closer to the ones they care for daily. A high incidence of exploitation takes place among those suffering from cognitive decline. This impairment can put seniors at risk when they give financial authority to the wrong person. Cognitive decline makes it more challenging to advocate for yourself. This is why a Power of Attorney is strongly recommended.
Financial fraud can be identified as missing money from one's account or harassing phone calls for sweepstakes offers. It can even show up in financial planning where family members coerce relatives to make beneficiary changes on documents. It's essential to have a close relative or friend you trust to ensure that no financial abuse takes place.
Financial abusers show up in many ways. They can be financial advisors, Medicare agents, caregivers, telephone and email scammers, and even unfortunately, friends and relatives. It's important to stay vigilant. If something does not feel right, question it, and bring it to someone who can help.
Financial exploitation can be prevented if we bring awareness to abuses and take the necessary steps to blow the whistle on abusers!
Want to make your financial safety a priority? Check out my 3 Takeaways for a quick start on financial peace of mind.