People ages 50 and older control more than 70 percent of the country’s wealth, so fraudsters are finding new ways to target retiring baby boomers and the growing number of older Americans. This type of crime called elder financial abuse is on the rise and is estimated to have cost victims at least $2.9 billion last year alone.
Elder financial abuse is a crime that deprives older adults of their resources and ultimately their independence. Anyone who sees signs of theft, fraud, misuse of a person’s assets or credit or use of undue influence to gain control of an older person’s money or property should be on the alert. Those are signs of possible exploitation. Older Americans that may have disabilities or rely on others for help can be susceptible to scams and other fraud. Advances in technology can also make it difficult for seniors to know who to trust and what's safe.
Tips for Seniors
Despite these threats, taking simple steps to safeguard personal information and being aware of warning signs can protect aging men and women from financial abuse.
The key to spotting financial abuse is a change in a person’s established financial patterns. Watch out for these “red flags”:
Never give your Social Security number, account numbers or other personal financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
This article content created by the American Bankers Association is provided by MVB Bank. More information about Safe Banking for Seniors and other financial tips for consumers can be found on the ABA website: https://www.aba.com/advocacy/community-programs/consumer-resources. If you would like more information from your local bankers on this or other topics, please email Amy Baker, VP, Corporate Communications & Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mvbbanking.com.
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