How to tell if an older adult is targeted with fraud

Four ways to identify and prevent fraudulent schemes aimed at your parents.

There is a whole portion of humanity out there who prey on older adults. Fraud is a real concern with many older adults falling prey to criminal schemes each year. And it’s big business, with American seniors losing an average of $3 billion annually.

So, if you’re currently taking steps to help your parents out with their finances, one thing to keep an eye out for is evidence of fraud.

Unfortunately, fraud isn’t always simple to detect. But here are a few things you can do to protect your parents from being scammed.

A recent study shows that seniors most likely to be susceptible to fraud are those who feel lonely, left behind, or disconnected.

Know How They Feel

A recent study shows that seniors most likely to be susceptible to fraud are those who feel lonely, left behind, or disconnected. Keeping a close eye on how your parents are feeling is a good way to make sure they don’t fall into the trap of trusting someone they shouldn’t.

Awareness

Talk with your parents about the threat of fraud. If they know it’s a possibility, they’ll be more likely to approach potential threats with a healthier degree of skepticism.

A little bit of diligence can go a long way.

Bring in the Feds

The FBI keeps a running list of current fraud schemes currently happening out in the wider world. It’s a good idea to bookmark this link to common schemes and keep your parents in the loop. 

Stay Vigilant

Maybe you’re in full control of your parents’ finances. Or, maybe you’re just now offering your help. Either way, paying attention to what’s happening in their financial lives can go a long way.

Your parents probably spent a good section of their lives making sure you were safe–holding your hand as you crossed the street, keeping pinky fingers and toes out of electrical sockets, and advising you on who’s a stranger and who’s not. 

So, it seems only fair to turn the tables a bit and help them stay safe from the very real and very present dangers of fraud of all kinds.