Elder financial abuse is a growing problem. Whether perpetuated by salesmen, realtors, scam artists, or even one’s own family members, stories of financial elder abuse continue to emerge daily. In light of this growing problem, a recent article in Forbes discusses several ways in which family members of vulnerable elderly men and women can reduce the risk of their loved one becoming a sitting duck for predators.
One simple step that family members can take is to check in often with a parent or loved one who lives alone. Send emails, call, drive over for lunch, do what you can to check in often. While your parents may tell you that you are being overbearing, many don’t realize that they need the assistance.
Also important is to ask to be an emergency co-signer on their main bank account(s). By adding your name to the account, you can monitor it for suspicious activity online. This will allow you to take immediate action should you spot a red flag. If your parent(s) are not willing to add you as a co-signer, suggest that they use a licensed fiduciary to handle money. By doing this they will have a licensed fiduciary looking out for abuse. This is also a good option to suggest to elderly people you know who do not have any children.