The Impact of Social Isolation on Elder Financial Abuse
Why Quarantining Increases Vulnerability to Scams
Social isolation, whether because of a pandemic or because an elderly person is alone, is a leading factor contributing to the financial exploitation of seniors. The necessity of quarantining for older adults because of COVID has increased the number of people vulnerable to elder financial abuse, reports the article “Social Isolation and the Risk of Investment Fraud” from NASDAQ.com.
Financial abuse can take place at any time during a person’s life. However, scammers typically strike during times when seniors are more susceptible. It is usually during a health crisis, after the death of a loved one, or when younger family members live far away.
How Scammers Target and Exploit Seniors
Key Factors Making Seniors More Susceptible
Methods Used by Scammers to Infiltrate Seniors' Lives
Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Financial Fraud
Communication and Support Networks
How to protect yourself or your aging parents from fraud during quarantine
Scammers isolate their victims. Talk with family, friends, your estate planning attorney, or financial advisor for advice before making any decisions.
Verifying Legitimacy and Understanding Risks
Financial Education and Awareness
Recognizing and Reporting Elder Financial Abuse
Red Flags and Warning Signs to Look Out For
Don’t be embarrassed to file a complaint. If you think you have been defrauded, you can file a complaint with the SEC, FINRA, and your state securities regulator. Your estate planning attorney will also know what resources you can tap to defend yourself.
Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse:
- A new “friend” who suddenly appears and tries to keep family and friends away.
- Someone who presses you to provide financial information and passwords to accounts.
- Fear or anxiety when a certain person calls or sends a text.
- Sudden and unexplained changes in estate planning documents or beneficiary designations.
- Anyone who asks for passwords to financial accounts.
- Generally speaking, anyone who promises a high return with no risk is not telling the truth. The same goes for anyone who tells you that you need to act fast.
The Importance of Social Connection in Preventing Scams
Staying Connected with Family and Friends
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