Elder Financial Abuse: What It Is and 5 Tips on How to Protect Yourself

elder financial abuse

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Elder financial abuse is becoming more and more common. It can be hard to identify, but there are some key signs for which to look. Elder financial abuse can take many different forms, so it’s essential to be aware of the different types of elder financial abuse and how to protect yourself from them.

Elder financial abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of income, race, or gender. It is estimated that elder financial abuse costs seniors more than $36 billion each year, according to the study ” elder financial abuse” from the National Elder Financial Abuse.

What Is Elder Financial Abuse?

Elder financial abuse is a type of elder abuse that refers to the illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s finances or property. This type of abuse can happen to anyone, but it is most common among those who are 65 years of age or older. Elder financial abuse can take many different forms, but some common examples include elder fraud, elder scams, identity theft, and financial exploitation.

Elder financial abuse is a serious problem that can have a lasting impact on the victim. It can lead to the loss of savings, retirement income, and even the victim’s home. It can also cause the victim to become isolated from family and friends, leading to physical and emotional health problems.

Indications of Elder Financial Abuse

Elder financial abuse can be challenging to identify because the perpetrators often try to conceal their activities. However, there are some key signs to look for that may indicate that it is taking place. Some key signs to look for are:

– Sudden changes in bank account or credit card activity
– Unauthorized withdrawals from bank accounts
– Missing money or valuables from the home
– Sudden changes in a will or other financial documents
– A caregiver who is overly interested in the elder’s finances

Types of Elder Financial Abuse

There are many different types of elder financial abuse. Some common examples include:

– Exploitation: This is when someone takes advantage of an elderly person’s finances for their own personal gain. For example, a caregiver may convince an elderly person to give them money or property, or they may use their credit card to make unauthorized charges.

– Fraud: This is when someone uses deception to convince an elderly person to give them money or property. For example, someone may pose as a charity worker or a grandchild in need to get money from an elder.

– Identity theft: This is when someone steals an elderly person’s personal information, such as their Social Security number or credit card number, in order to make unauthorized charges or open new accounts in their name.

– Unscrupulous business practices: such as selling an elder an annuity that they don’t need or pressuring them to buy insurance policies with high commissions.

5 Tips to Protect You or a Loved One from Elder Financial Abuse

There are many ways you can protect yourself or a loved one from elder financial abuse. Here are five tips:
1. Be aware of the signs. These can include sudden changes in bank account activity, unexpected withdrawals from an elder’s accounts, or large transfers of money to someone the elder doesn’t know.
2. Don’t give out personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number, to anyone you don’t know or trust.
3. Be careful about who you allow to have access to your elder’s finances. This includes giving someone power of attorney or allowing them to be a signatory on an elder’s bank account.
4. Review your elder’s finances regularly. This can help you catch any unusual activity and report it to authorities.
5. Talk to your elder about their finances. This can help them be more aware of abuse and how to protect themselves from it.

Steps to Take if Elder Financial Abuse is Taking Place

If you suspect that elder financial abuse is taking place, there are some important steps to take:

  1. First, try to talk to the elder about what is happening. If the elder is unable or unwilling to talk about it, reach out to a trusted friend or family member for help.
  2. Next, contact your local law enforcement or adult protective services. They will be able to help you file a report and get the elder the help they need.
  3. Lastly, make sure to document everything that is happening. This will be important if you need to take legal action.

Resources for Those Experiencing Elder Financial Abuse

There are many resources available for elders who are being abused financially. For example, the National Elder Financial Abuse Resource Center has a wealth of information on its website, including a state-by-state guide to reporting abuse. Additionally, the Elder Abuse Prevention Network has a 24-hour hotline (800- elder abuse) that elders can call if they are being abused.

Tips for Caregivers

Caregivers play an essential role in protecting their elderly loved ones from financial abuse. Here are five tips for caregivers:

– Be aware of the signs
– Review your elder’s finances regularly
– Talk to your elder about their finances
– Don’t give out personal information about your elder to anyone you don’t know or trust
– Contact authorities if you suspect abuse is taking place

Iron Point Financial is here to help with all of your financial needs. We aim to put our clients’ best interests first. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you, or visit our website!

We serve the Grove City, Greenville, Erie, Cranberry Township, and Boardman, OH areas.

 

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