Thousands of the elderly are scammed by criminals every year and lose millions of dollars. The number of possibly impacted seniors in California is on the rise according to the State of California Department of Justice, “The United States Census Bureau projected in 2000 that California’s elderly population will have doubled by 2025 to 6.4 million – a larger growth rate than any other state.”The risk of elder exploitation, scamming and financial abuse is something to be worried about if you are a senior or child of an aging parent. Unfortunately, most elderly do not know what a scammer is or what it looks like to be scammed.

Becoming aware of these two things is the first step in ending exploitation of the elderly. To learn more about how to protect your parents from exploitation, read our tips below in this blog article:

  1. Make sure that your parent’s landline is protected from solicitors. The best way to protect your parent’s phone is to switch from a landline to a cellular phone. This can be a complicated change for many in the elderly community but a cellular phone can be more protected than the landline phone. If this is not the best step for your parent then you should unlist your parent’s landline phone number. This can help prohibit solicitors from calling.
  1. Mail is another way that scammers can contact your parents. The best way to stop this is by putting your parent’s address on an opt out list. This will end any junk mail from coming to your parent’s home. Encourage your parents to not respond to any mail they are not expecting or recognize.  Responding to mail scams, in any way, can increase their risk for future solicitation.
  1. Another way to make sure your parents do not get scammed is to help out with their finances. This does not mean you take control of their finances (unless they want you to), but just monitor their finances to make sure they are not putting money in the wrong places or being taken advantage. Setting a monthly check in meeting can be a great way to prevent scammers from financially exploiting your parents.
  1. The last tip is simple; talk to your parents. Ask them about what is going on in their lives. Encourage open dialogue. If they tell you something that sounds suspicious, look into it and make sure it is a valid interaction.  Make sure they are not being scammed. Ask them what type of phone calls and mail they have received. Tell them to be aware of their surroundings and where they are putting their money.

This is an unfortunate problem that needs to be addressed. It is important that you speak to your parents about scams and how they can prevent falling victim to criminals. This could potentially save them from losing thousands of dollars and very significant information.

Want to learn more?

(1)  Register for a free workshop to hear more about what you need to know to protect what matters most.  

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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community about trust and estate planning, veterans issues, and how to protect what matters most.

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