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Have you ever received a suspicious email telling you that you’ve won a lot of money and have to pay a small processing fee to receive it? Or maybe you’ve gotten a call from “your grandson” saying he’s in jail and needs a lot of money to be bailed out?

If so, you were probably the target of elder financial exploitation, the most common form of elder abuse. Affecting 42 out of every 1,000 New Yorkers 60 years and older – and with a staggering increase of over 35% between 2010 and 2014 – this crime costs New York $1.5 BILLION dollars each year. To learn more about elder financial exploitation, click here.

AARP is trying to get a bill passed in Albany that would train bank staff about this crime and allow banks to stop suspicious transactions. But TIME IS SHORT; this year’s state legislative session is scheduled to end Wednesday, June 21. Tell your state lawmakers to fight elder financial exploitation and act NOW.

With the growing number of scams out there, sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s legitimate and what’s not. Here are a few tips to avoid falling victim to elder financial abuse:

  • Never give out personal information (like your Social Security number) over the phone, unless you started that interaction (and even then, be careful).
  • If you get an email from an unknown sender, don’t click on any links –someone could be trying to access personal information on your computer.
  • If someone contacts you, claiming to be from your bank, Internet service provider, or other important institution and says there’s a problem and they need money, access to your computer or some security information, don’t respond. Instead, call a verified number to check the legitimacy of that claim before taking any action.

For more tips (and other scam-related resources), check out AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.

Want to talk to an elderly parent about elder financial abuse, but don’t know how? These tips can help.

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