Safeguarding Your Loved Ones from Elder Financial Fraud

Our senior loved ones hold a special place in our hearts, and we care deeply about their well-being. Sadly, in today’s digital world, older adults have become prime targets for scammers who prey on their vulnerability and accumulated assets.

In this blog, we will shed light on the most common scams that target older adults, providing you with the knowledge and tools to safeguard your loved ones’ hard-earned wealth.

Common Scams Targeting Seniors:

Grandparent scams: Scammers impersonate a grandchild or close relative in a crisis, asking for immediate financial assistance. They may claim to have been arrested or in an accident, and will often appear to be in distress.

Medicare and Healthcare Fraud: Scammers pose as healthcare providers, offering fake services or equipment and stealing personal information or Medicare benefits.

Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams: Seniors are contacted with the false promise of winning a substantial prize, but they must pay a fee or taxes upfront to claim it.

Phishing Scams: Cybercriminals send fraudulent emails, texts, or calls pretending to be legitimate organizations, tricking seniors into providing sensitive information .

Romance Scams: Seniors seeking companionship online may fall victim to con artists who exploit their emotions to gain access to their finances.

5 Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones:

  1. Stay Informed: Educate seniors about the latest scams and how they operate. Encourage open communication so they can share any suspicious encounters.
  2. Trusted Contacts: Designate a trustworthy family member or friend to assist with financial matters. Regularly review statements together to identify any unusual activity.
  3. Secure Personal Information: Never share sensitive information over the phone, email, or online unless you initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient’s identity.
  4. Be Skeptical: If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Exercise caution when presented with unsolicited deals or investment opportunities.
  5. Verify Requests: Independently verify the identity of callers or email senders by contacting the relevant organization through their official contact information.

Together, let’s empower ourselves and our loved ones with the understanding of these deceptive schemes, recognize the warning signs, and take proactive steps to ensure the financial security and peace of mind for those we hold dear.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, helps communities, agencies and organizations ensure that older people and adults with disabilities can live with dignity, and without abuse, neglect, and exploitation. We are based out of Keck School of Medicine of USC. NCEA is the place to turn for education, research, and promising practices in preventing abuse.