Unfortunately, many scammers look at senior citizens as easy targets. Family members and strangers alike might use an elderly person’s frailty against him or her.
To protect your loved ones, AARP explains what loved ones should look out for in terms of financial abuse.
Sketchy family members
Unfortunately, self-serving family members may target older adults. Watch out for children, spouses or others who might convince your loved one to transfer funds or to make excessive transactions. Look for family members who have sudden lifestyle changes. For instance, say that one of your elderly loved one’s kids suddenly has a brand-new car out of his or her normal price range.
Those most likely to take advantage of an elder include those who have substance abuse issues, mental or physical health issues, financial struggles or generally live an isolated life. While a person who exploits the elderly can have any background, a criminal background is suspicious.
Sudden repair bills
Monitor your loved one’s bills. If he or she has high repair bills, despite the lack of repairs, there may be a serious issue. Many elderly people are too frail to maintain their own homes. They rely on the people that they trust to take care of the home or they hire help. Sometimes, however, companies might scam or exploit older adults. A contractor may knock on the door of an elderly person, claim that the home needs repair work to scam the senior.
If you can, make sure that you or a trusted friend or relative is present whenever an older person signs a contract for home repairs.