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Way You Can Protect the Elders You Love From Exploitation

Every year, many Older Americans are targeted by criminals who try to manipulate seniors into giving them their personal information. The criminals then use this information to access bank accounts and other important services. As a senior or the child of an aging parent, exploitation should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for seniors to identify when they are being targeted.

Recognizing the common elements of a scam is the first step to help ensure your senior loved one does not become a victim of financial exploitation. To help you learn more, we want to share some tips about protecting your loved ones from exploitation.

1. Talk to your senior loved one.

When trying to protect your senior loved one from exploitation, it is important to take the time to educate him or her about common scams and how to identify them. Often, we see that seniors are embarrassed about falling for a scam and do not want to share this with anyone. Encourage your senior loved one to talk to you if someone unfamiliar asks for their personal details. In addition, ask them to verify with you if someone asks them to send money to help with a family emergency. Together you can work to identify criminals and any potential scams.

2. Monitor your loved one’s finances.

Another way to help keep your senior loved one protected from scams is to monitor their finances. Either you or another close friend or family member should regularly check to ensure that there are no suspicious charges or sudden decreases of funds in your loved one’s bank account. Sharing this information with your senior loved one can help everyone involved feel more at ease.

3. Talk to your loved one about creating a durable power of attorney.

A durable power of attorney is a powerful legal tool that can help protect your loved one from financial exploitation. If monitoring your loved one’s finances is not enough, we encourage you to discuss this planning option with your loved one. This document allows a close friend, family member, or trusted advisor to take appropriate actions on your loved one’s behalf if something suspicious is happening to your loved one’s funds.

Sadly, financial exploitation is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. We encourage you to talk to your aging loved ones about common scams and how to protect themselves from becoming a victim of exploitation. If you have any questions or concerns about the senior loved one in your life or about the estate planning tools they need both now and in the future, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.