The elderly in our communities are all prone to getting scammed at some point. Many perpetrators of such exploitations take advantage of the fact that seniors are old, and hence an easy target. A number of these con artists use technology to serve their purposes since most elderly people are not tech-savvy. They may use calls and emails or pose as salesmen to achieve their goal of getting financial access to the unknowing elderly person.
The risk is imminent, and we have to remain vigilant to protect our elders from these vile perpetrators. To that end, we have come up with 4 red flags that you should look into when you suspect foul play.
1. A Sudden Change in the Elder's Will
Changes in the elder's will, or changing the power of attorney, should raise immediate eyebrows. This is because elders ordinarily have their estates in order, and they write their wills well in advance.
Therefore, changes in a will are rare and you should thoroughly investigate them. The elder is likely to be acting under duress, and you need to help them. Involve the authorities if necessary.
2. Large Amount Transactions
Look out for unusually large withdrawals or transfers to unfamiliar accounts. These could be scammers who gain financial information from elderly people and use it to access the money.
By looking at the elder's statement, you can easily tell the normal expenses that are expected, and also flag out suspiciously unusual transactions. This can help you protect the elder from further exploitation.
3. Missing Property and Belongings
If you notice some valuable belongings or property going missing, it could probably be a scammer at work. Being crafty, they could have convinced the victim to trade in some valuable items for fake ones, or probably sell assets like vehicles to invest in a seemingly lucrative business idea.
Therefore, you need to take inventory every once in a while to ensure everything is alright, and all valuables are intact.
4. Mood Changes
Take note of mood changes in the elder, like anxiety or depression. Anxiety could come around during a scam, where the elder still believes that they have made the right decision, and is not aware of the ongoing scam. The expectations they have may raise their anxiety levels and you need to take this as a sign of financial exploitation.
Another indicative mood is depression. This could come around as an aftermath of the scam. For instance, money sent for air tickets to a beloved person who never shows up could be a trigger for depression. Therefore, when you notice depression, take it in stride and identify its cause, all while offering help to the victim.
One of the best ways to avoid financial exploitation of the elderly is to appoint a professional financial advisor. Find an advisor today!