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How to prevent financial elder abuse

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2019 | Elder Law

Though modern technology has brought Florida families together in many ways, it is not without risk. The availability of information online has made everyone more vulnerable, but elderly people may be more susceptible to online scams. Some estimates say that as many as 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 have been affected by financial fraud of some kind. Fortunately, financial experts have several pieces of advice for those who want to avoid becoming a victim of this kind of elder abuse.

First, recognizing common scams can be helpful. Many people have likely noticed the increase in the amount of robocalls that come over the phone — these are automated voices that often attempt to sell a product to the person on the other end of the line, or provide the individual with information. Some of these calls can be from scammers attempting to steal money from trusting individuals, often including seniors. However, older people can also be targeted for financial abuse by people that they trust. One study says that two-thirds of financial elder fraud cases involve a perpetrator that the senior citizen already knows and trusts.

One safeguard against this type of abuse is the Senior Safe Act, which allows financial institutions to hold a financial transaction if it appears that it may be connected to financial fraud. Seniors can also take matters into their own hands by appointing a trusted contact for every financial account. Getting a financial planner is an excellent step to protect one’s assets, as that person can act as an impartial third party and advise the senior citizen in question about what choices to make in order to meet personal financial goals.

Even with precautions, an incident of financial elder abuse can still happen to anyone. Those who have concerns regarding this type of fraud here in Florida may wish to discuss their situation with an experienced elder law attorney. There are ways for seniors to protect their assets and ensure that they leave the legacy they want for their loved ones.