ARTICLE: Protecting Seniors from Elder Fraud

Protecting Seniors from Elder Fraud

As our population ages, the threat of elder fraud has become an increasingly prevalent concern. Scammers target vulnerable seniors, seeking to exploit their trust and financial resources. Protecting oneself or a loved one from elder fraud requires awareness, vigilance, and proactive measures. Here are some effective measures to protect against elder fraud and ensure the financial security of our elderly population.

Education and Awareness

Knowledge is a powerful defense against elder fraud. Seniors and their families should be informed about common scams, such as phishing emails, fraudulent phone calls, and fake charity appeals. Regularly discuss these risks, emphasizing the importance of skepticism when dealing with unsolicited communications or requests for personal information.

Strengthen Online Security

As technology advances, so do the methods employed by fraudsters. Seniors should use strong, unique passwords for online accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Educate them on the importance of updating software and being cautious about clicking on links or downloading attachments in emails.

Monitor Financial Statements

Encourage seniors to regularly review their bank and credit card statements for any unfamiliar or suspicious transactions. This proactive step can quickly identify unauthorized activities and allow for timely intervention. Consider setting up account alerts for large transactions or unusual account activity.

Establish Trusted Contacts

Help seniors identify trustworthy individuals who can assist in monitoring their financial affairs. These trusted contacts can serve as an extra set of eyes, helping to spot any irregularities or potential scams. Ensure that these individuals are aware of their role and have the necessary permissions to act on behalf of the senior.

Be Cautious with Personal Information

Emphasize the importance of safeguarding personal information. Seniors should be cautious about sharing sensitive details, such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, or Medicare numbers, especially in response to unsolicited requests. Legitimate organizations will not ask for this information over the phone or via email.

Stay Informed About Scams

Scammers are constantly evolving their tactics. Stay up-to-date on the latest scams targeting seniors and share this information with the elderly members of your community. Local law enforcement, senior centers, and online resources can be valuable outlets for staying informed about emerging threats.

Utilize Caller ID and Call Screening

Many scams involve fraudulent phone calls. Advise seniors to use caller ID to screen incoming calls and avoid answering unfamiliar numbers. Legitimate callers will often leave voicemails, allowing seniors to verify the authenticity of the call before responding.

Work with an experienced elder law attorney

Protecting against elder fraud requires a collective effort, involving education, technology, and vigilant monitoring. As a crucial step in fortifying their defenses, we strongly encourage seniors and their families to reach out to our office. Roth Elder Law, PLLC can provide personalized guidance, review legal documents, and offer comprehensive strategies to protect against fraud and financial exploitation. Together, we can create a secure environment where seniors can age with dignity, financial security, and peace of mind. Call our office at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.

Contact Us Today

We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.