Preventing Elder Abuse – Financial Scams on the Rise!


According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older experiences some form of abuse over the course of a year—as many as 5 million seniors annually. Nearly half of all adults with dementia have experienced abuse or neglect, the agency reports.

5 Red Flags to Watch For

#1 Unexpected Contact

A person or company contacts you out of the blue by phone, text, or email about an invoice, order, delivery, or charge you didn’t know about.

#2 Everything is Urgent

Scammers will create a false sense of urgency and use pressure tactics like rude or pushy language to get you to act immediately.

#3 Very Specific or Unusual Way to Pay

Someone is asking you to pay or send money using gift cards, cryptocurrency, a payment app, or even an online wire — to pay for something, resolve an “issue,” get sweepstakes “winnings,” or secure a high return on your “investment.”

#4 Threatening Language

Scammers may tell you that you owe money and then threaten to call the police if you don’t pay immediately. They may also coach you on what to tell the bank to withdraw or transfer money or ask you to keep a secret.

#5 The Romantic "Emergency"

A new online love interest bombards you with “sweet talk” but doesn’t seem to want to meet in person. Suddenly a hardship or emergency strikes and they want you to send them money.

What to Do If You Suspect a Scam

• Slow down. Pause, take a breath, and think it through.
• Someone you don’t know is asking you for your money. Remember, it’s your right to confirm things no matter how urgent anyone says it is. You’re in charge when it comes to your money.
• Contact the company they claim to be, call your bank, or call the police if it doesn’t seem right.
• Consult with a friend or family member you trust.

Source: Wells Fargo Bank

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