Your parents worked hard to build up a nest egg that would keep them financially secure through their retirement years. You may be worried about whether their money is safe from scammers and fraudulent schemes – and your worries aren’t unfounded. Americans over the age of 65 are much more likely to be targeted by financial scammers than younger people are, according to one study.
Seniors are more likely to be targeted by fraudsters for a number of reasons. They tend to have more money saved up and they may be more vulnerable due to cognitive impairments or other disabilities. So how do you know if your elderly parent is – or is in danger of becoming – the victim of a financial scam? Here are a few signs to keep an eye out for.
- Your parent gets lots of mail or phone calls announcing that he has won a contest. Often, these are attempts to get financial information out of vulnerable adults. If you are worried your parent might fall prey to one of these scams, talk to him about how such scams work and how to avoid them.
- There’s a new, and possibly suspicious, person your parent’s life. Often, older adults are targeted by friends or even family. If you find that someone you don’t know is spending a lot of time with your mom or dad, find out more about this person. The connection might be a positive one, but this newfound friend may also have ulterior motives.
- Your mom or dad is prone to making rash decisions. Lots of scams involve fast-talking sales pitches that may sound irresistible in the moment. Older adults who jump at good-sounding deals may be at risk for falling for a scam. Research and educate your parent on common scams and how to avoid sly salespeople.
- Your parent tells you all about a new investment or prize that will bring in a lot of money. Things that sound too good to be true usually are, so if your mom or dad tells you about some recent good fortune that feels fishy, get more details. If you suspect your parent is the victim of a scam, get the authorities involved.
- You notice sudden changes in your parents’ financial situation. If your shopaholic parent has suddenly become much thriftier, for example, this may be an indication that she has recently lost a lot of money. Your parent may not be aware that she was scammed, or perhaps she is too ashamed to admit it. Either way, if you suspect she is the victim of fraud, investigate the situation to find out more.
Scammers are clever and adjust their methods constantly to keep one step ahead of unsuspecting victims. Keeping vigilant is key to avoiding or catching scammers and protecting your parents’ hard-earned savings. You can also help your parents secure their financial future by learning about how to prepare for the expensive prospect of long-term care. At Life Care Funding, we can help you and your parents determine the best way to prepare for possible future care needs. Contact us today with your questions, comments, or stories!