Identity theft is an unfortunate reality for all of us, but seniors are especially vulnerable to scams, con artists and fraudsters, putting their wellbeing and finances at serious risk. For caregivers, family and anyone who works with the elderly, it’s important to be aware of these issues and provide senior loved ones with advice and assistance to help keep their personal information safe.
Why are the Elderly More Vulnerable?
There are two main reasons why seniors are targeted for identity fraud. They often have savings or investments, own their home and have good credit, making them a valuable target. They are also less likely to report fraud, often because they are unaware that they have been defrauded, or because they are simply embarrassed about the situation.
What Can You Do as a Caregiver or Family Member?
Caregivers and family members can play a role in keeping senior loved ones safer from identity fraud. Here are some important red flags to be aware of:
- If a stranger or acquaintance expresses interest in their financial history, social security information or other sensitive information.
- If a caregiver, friend or family member expresses sudden interest in their financials or wants greater input into their spending, bank account access etc.
- Sudden or inexplicable changes to their Last Will and Testament or other legal documents
- Financial activity that is out of the ordinary, unlikely of the account holder or otherwise unexplained
- Increases in withdrawals and purchases
- Bills not being paid
- Account statements no longer arriving at their address
It’s also important to remind senior loved ones not to share sensitive information (social security or financial) with anyone, especially unsolicited telephone callers, door-to-door salespeople or contractors. Any suspicious activity on bank and other accounts should be reported immediately.
Legal Advice for Seniors and Loved Ones from Your Elder Law Attorney in New Jersey
Experienced in elder law, compassionate and committed to his clients, you’ll receive the highest quality legal expertise and guidance you need from Frank R. Campisano. In addition, you can also prepare additional estate planning documents, such as your Last Will and Testament, Healthcare Proxy/Medical Directive, Power of Attorney documents and trusts. For more compassionate legal guidance and a free consultation, please contact us or visit our website at http://www.scclegal.com/