AARP warns of elder abuse scam

Published 8:30 am Saturday, June 17, 2023

More than 369,000 incidents of financial abuse targeting older adults are reported to authorities in the U.S. each year, causing an estimated $4.8 billion in losses. And those numbers likely understate the problem considerably. However, as we approach World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, it’s good to remember that there are things we can do to stop elder financial exploitation.

Encourage your loved one to designate someone they trust to help them with financial decisions. The federal government’s Eldercare Locator can help you find free or low-cost legal assistance. Suggest they add a trusted contact for their financial institutions if they are unreachable or if questionable activity is detected. A trusted contact is not able to make transactions, but the financial institution can disclose some account information to them.

Also, watch out for someone — even someone you thought you or your loved one could trust — who discourages contact with family and friends, exerts pressure on financial decisions or asks for large sums of money.

Most importantly, financial exploitation is a crime and should be reported to your local police or Sheriff or even to 911.