Financial fraud is becoming more and more common, targeting seniors and older adults across the nation. As a leading provider of home care in Phoenix, we wanted to take the time to educate our readers about what senior financial fraud is and how families can help their aging loved ones protect their finances.
Senior adults are at high risk for financial fraud and may not always notice when they have been the victim of fraudulent actions. Often, criminals prey upon senior adults who may provide personal information that can allow access to their financial accounts or make it possible for someone to set up false accounts in their name. Financial fraud can also take various forms which can sometimes leave little evidence until serious losses have occurred. For this reason, it is best to take action immediately when any type of fraudulent activity is suspected.
Fighting financial fraud should always begin with prevention and education. Senior adults and their loved ones should learn about the different ways that criminals gain access to their accounts. This will help them to be wary of suspicious events such as a person claiming to be a long lost relative in need of money. It is also important to note that scams may take place online, via telephone calls or from personal contact with a senior adult. Seniors who lose important documents such as their social security card, checkbook or health insurance information should immediately report these as lost so that someone cannot use their identity to access their finances.
Talking openly about financial fraud with your aging parent or loved one is an important part of prevention. The more honest and open you are, the more likely your loved one is going to tell you when something has gone wrong. Many seniors do not report financial fraud because they do not want others to know they have been deceived, making it ever more important for you to let your loved one know you are there for them no matter what. You can also help by monitoring their financial accounts and credit reports so signs of suspicious activity can be quickly investigated.
If financial fraud occurs despite preventative strategies, then a senior adult and their family will need to take immediate action. For most victims of fraud, it will be necessary to report the incident to the local police as well as any companies that are involved such as a senior adult’s bank or credit agency. Closing accounts and obtaining new account numbers will also be necessary to stop further fraud from occurring.
By being proactive, it is possible to prevent most instances of fraud and ensure that a senior adult’s finances remain secure from the threat of criminal activity. For more tips on helping keep your aging loved one safe, contact the Phoenix live-in care specialists at Home Care Assistance. Our Care Managers can offer advice and can also provide information about our home care plans which are ideal for keeping seniors safe at home. Dial 602-388-1085 and take the first step toward peace of mind today.