Scam artists have grown increasingly sophisticated, and consumers of all ages are at risk. Nevertheless, the elderly are still particularly vulnerable because of factors such as cognitive decline or isolation. If you have an elderly loved one who may be at risk, you may want to take extra steps to protect him or her.
You, your loved one and his or her financial institution can all work together to prevent him or her from becoming the victim of a fraud. MarketWatch offers some ideas on how to accomplish this.
1. Talk to your loved one
It may be tempting to go to your loved one’s bank alone to talk to the manager, but that is a bad idea for two reasons. First, privacy concerns might prevent the bank management from talking openly about your loved one’s situation. Second, your loved one may become defensive or suspicious if you attempt this conversation without his or her knowledge.
For these reasons, it is preferable that you express your concerns with your loved one and go to talk to the bank manager together. If you meet with resistance, explain that financial fraud is a concern for all ages, and both you and your loved one can benefit from taking a more active role to prevent it.
2. Share the responsibility
If you or your loved one have concerns about his or her ability to manage finances, you can share the responsibility. Your loved one can create a power of attorney that gives you access to accounts of his or her choosing.
Alternatively, you may be able to open a joint account authorizing both you and your loved one to access funds. You and your loved one can decide together which option works better. The bank manager can offer guidance, but remember that he or she also stands to benefit from persuading consumers to open accounts.
3. Ask questions of the bank manager
Talking with the bank manager about training tellers receive can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved one. Ask specific questions such as how tellers handle a request for a large withdrawal, which is common in lottery scams.
Fraudsters are constantly improving their deceptive techniques. You must be equally tireless in watching out for your elderly loved one.