Financial fraud is one of the fastest growing forms of elder abuse. Is there anything you can do to protect our elderly loved ones from being swindled? Donna Slater, CPA, CDFA shares tips for those with aging loved ones and how to avoid financial fraud.
- Help your elderly loved ones get their estate plans in order while they are still of sound mind. At the very least, they should have a will, medical and durable powers of attorney, and a living trust to shield assets from the probate process.
- Keep your loved ones from being isolated. Be a regular presence in their lives, know who has access to them, and know the signs of financial abuse.
- Educate your loved ones about current solicitations and scams and encourage them to refuse to respond to any request for personal information such as their social security number, credit card number or banking information.
- Remove their names from call lists by signing up for the National Do Not Call registry at 888-382-1222.
- Carefully vet professional caregivers by hiring through a licensed agency that conducts background checks.
- Vet all contractors by first checking with your state’s contractor licensing board and the local better business bureau.
- Check a financial advisor’s credentials by first checking with brokercheck.finra.org.
- Guard their personal information. Checks, debit and credit cards, and any documents with personal information shouldn’t be easily accessible.
- Check credit reports regularly to make sure they haven’t fallen victim to identity theft.
Should your elderly loved one be located far away, or you have other obligations making it challenging to manage, there are service providers, like PG&Co. who can assist you with financial eldercare. We will gladly answer any questions you may have about how we can assist you. Contact us at 401-831-0200.