The National Council on Aging recently published an article to help older adults avoid scams and fraud.
Millions of older adults fall prey to financial scams every year. Use these tips from NCOA and the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement to protect yourself or an older adult you know.
1. Be aware that you are at risk from strangers—and from those closest to you
Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by the older person’s family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others. Common tactics include depleting a joint checking account, promising but not delivering care in exchange for money or property, outright theft, and other forms of abuse, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, and neglect of basic care needs. Everyone is at risk of financial abuse, even people without high incomes or assets. Understand the top 10 most common scams targeting seniors, so you can spot one before it’s too late.
2. Don’t isolate yourself—stay involved!
Isolation is a huge risk factor for elder abuse. Most family violence only occurs behind closed doors, and elder abuse is no exception. Some older people self-isolate by withdrawing from the larger community. Others are isolated because they lose the ability to drive, see, or walk about independently. Some seniors fear being victimized by purse snatchings and muggings if they venture out. Visit the Eldercare Locator to find services nearby that can help you stay active. Or contact your local senior center to get involved.
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