Financial abuse is one of the more common ways that senior citizens are taken advantage of. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a few tips to help prevent this type of abuse. It’s not an exhaustive list, but especially in today’s world, it’s an important one. Seniors are more likely to be online than ever before, and unfortunately, this is where many are targeted.
Keep reading to see a few ways that you and your family members can help prevent the likelihood of financial abuse from occurring.
Be Careful Online: Don’t ever click on pop-up ads or suspicious links. Even if the site looks safe, there’s a chance that it isn’t. Always look to make sure that the site is secure, too. If not, there’s a chance that scammers could be targeting you.
One easy way to check and see if the site is secure is to look up at the web address. If you see an “https://” at the beginning, then the site has secure encryption measures in place to protect your information. This is especially important if anything is being bought online.
Be Smart Offline: People are often told not to carry their Social Security information with them, but how many people actually listen to this advice? Don’t carry these cards in your wallet or purse, but rather keep them in a safe place, preferably at home or in a lock box.
It’s also important to not write down PIN numbers down on your ATM cards. Even though this is an easy way to remember your info, it’s also a good way for would-be thieves to access your money. Seniors are often targeted by pickpockets and others, so keeping your cards and personal data away from them is a key part of preventing abuse.
If you do have documents that have these pieces of information on them and you do not need them, don’t just throw them out. Shred them so no one can accidentally gain this info on their own.
Be Protective of Personal Information: If someone is trying to find out personal info like your Social Security number, your bank information, or any of your passwords, do not tell them. There have been a number of scams with criminals posing as if they were authorities and asking for this information. Do not share these things with anyone!
Abuse of any sort is not just a criminal act, it is an atrocity. We are committed to preventing abuse in any form, and this goes for financial abuse, too. Hopefully, the tips listed here can be useful for you and your family as you take extra steps to keep the people that you love and care about safe. It’s important to remember that abuse comes in many forms. As you’re looking for a caregiver for an older parent, make sure that you are cautious regarding who you invite into your home to help with senior care and who you trust to work with your family. The preventative measures that you put in place upfront will go a long way toward keeping abuse from happening in the first place.