It is sad but true; financial scam artists target the elderly, often focusing their efforts on those experiencing cognitive decline due to dementia. This abuse can come from other family members, nursing home staff, or strangers that misrepresent themselves to seniors in the hopes of accessing their money. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your loved ones from financial abuse.
Set low spending limits at the bank
Having a debit card with access to a bank account is convenient for seniors. However, unfettered access to funds can lead to problems should your loved one fall victim to a scammer. Setting up an account with a smaller limit on the debit card ensures the person has access to the money they need for the essentials but prevents them from making bigger purchases without some oversight.
Oversee your loved one’s financial accounts
It may not be time to take over your senior loved one’s finances. However, there are other steps you can take to safeguard their finances. Some banks are willing to send statements to a reliable person in the senior’s life so they can be checked for any suspicious activity. You can also opt to receive fraud alerts, which will make you aware of the issue right away.
Stop by often
The more in touch you are with your loved one, the more likely you are to know about possible scams before irrevocable damage occurs. Regular visits also allow you to get to know any people in the senior’s life, including caregivers. When visiting with your loved one, open up a dialogue about their finances, including any recent expenses. You can also ask about savings or recurring debts. If something seems off, do not hesitate to delve deeper.