As people get older, they may be more susceptible to different types of abuse. Although California and federal laws make it illegal to engage in financial fraud, it doesn’t mean that an elderly parent or grandparent won’t fall victim to a scam. Fortunately, there are clues that may help you spot elder financial abuse and put a stop to it in a timely manner.
Have your loved one’s spending habits changed?
If your parents are traditionally frugal people, you should listen carefully if they tell you about an organization that they are donating money to. You should also listen carefully if they tell you about a wire transfer that is supposedly related to a back tax bill or some other questionable debt.
In many cases, scammers will pose as government agents and demand payment via wire transfer or through gift cards. If you think that your elderly family member is being taken advantage of, you may want to review their bank or credit card information. Doing so may help you spot and possibly reverse suspicious transactions.
Are your parents or grandparents asking you for money?
It’s not uncommon for financial fraud to leave a person financially destitute. In such a scenario, the victim may have no choice but to ask friends or family members for money. If your parent or grandparent is asking for money despite the fact that they should have ample cash reserves, it may be as a sign of elder abuse.
If you believe that your family member is being taken advantage of, it’s generally a good idea to report suspicious behavior to their financial institution. It may also be a good idea to report suspected fraud to the government or to local law enforcement.