When we think about scammers, we often think of “stranger danger” stemming from overseas criminal enterprises bombarding our phones and emails with fraudulent offers. The sad reality for older adults is that the majority of financial abuse they suffer is perpetrated by someone they know.
Tuesday, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and it is the perfect time to remember that seniors are vulnerable to financial abuse by loved ones as well as strangers. In fact, it is estimated that one in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Some warning signs to look out for include: a caregiver or family member who suddenly asks for access to your loved one’s accounts or possessions, changes in their financial practices such as new credit cards or unopened bank statements, and a financial agent who isn’t following your loved one’s wishes.
You can learn more about elder abuse and how to avoid frauds and scams by participating in a Telephone Townhall event on Tuesday, June 15 at 1:30 p.m. AARP Kansas State Director Maren Turner will be joined by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt for a live conversation about fraud prevention. They will answer questions from participants during the call. To register and participate, visit https://vekeo.com/event/aarpkansas-67435/ or listen live on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/aarpks.
Most importantly, if you suspect any sort of financial, physical or sexual abuse, report it to local law enforcement right away.
For more information and resources on fraud prevention, visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.