OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), millions of older Americans are financially abused and about 84 percent of cases go unreported. Older Americans can fall victim to financial abuse including telemarketing scams, confidence crimes and forgery.
The FTC says you must be on the lookout for suspicious sudden changes in an elder’s financial situation such as:
Forms of elder financial abuse according to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) are:
Scams to look out for:
Typically, it is the closest family members who care for the finances of elder people. In some cases, the family members such as sons or grandchildren are the perpetrators. Some potential reasons are a bad relationship with the family member, financial problems and inheritance disputes.
People over the age of 50 control more than 70 percent of the nation’s wealth according to the NCPEA. This makes them an attractive target. Another reason these people are taken advantage of is because of their lack of understanding of financial matters. Due to new technology and services offered by financial institutions it can be difficult for them to understand.
To prevent elder financial abuse, it is important to closely monitor and manage older family members’ finances responsibly. Professionals like bankers and personal accountants should also be aware of any financial abuse indicators in their client’s activities.