Your parents, especially those who live alone, are vulnerable to scams and schemes for three reasons. First, seniors tend to be trusting. They also may be lonely and sometimes distant from those who can protect them. Senior parents are also vulnerable because they worry about their financial security. Finally, scammers know that many seniors have money and valuable possessions.
Even though approximately 50 percent of elderly Americans are victims of financial exploitation, only 10 to 15 percent of the abuses are reported.
The following may indicate that your parents are being victimized:
* Sudden bank account changes, especially an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money
* Unfamiliar long-distance telephone numbers, expecially from overseas, on their monthly bill
* Significantly lower standard of living (change in eating and shopping habits; unable to afford things they once afforded)
* Selling higher-end items such as furniture, antiques, and so on
* Sudden disappearance of valuable possessions
* Increase in commercial or junk mail
* Sudden change in behavior; symptoms of depression or anxiety
* Increased worries over money
Next week, I’ll share six ways to protect your parents from fraud. If you need the information sooner, and for much more practical advice on helping your parents now, and dealing with their stuff after they are gone, please order my book, “The Boomer Burden”, available from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Boomer-Burden-Dealing-Lifetime-Accumulation/
© 2009 Julie Hall