Protecting Seniors

How Adult Kids Can Protect Aging Parents from Scams

May 19, 2021

How Adult Kids Can Protect Aging Parents from Scams | Aspiriant Wealth Management

As parents age, it’s highly likely they will need their adult children to start helping with various aspects of their lives. Retired aging adults can often maintain independence in their homes for many years. But it’s still helpful to have children and grandchildren around to assist as needed.

Moreover, even aging parents capable of self-care, cooking, and other daily responsibilities often need guidance regarding financial matters and potential scams.

Scams Targeting Aging Adults

Unfortunately, many scammers target aging adults. Not only does this demographic typically keep money in the bank, they also tend to be naïve with regards to potential dangers of phone and internet scams.

Scammers aren’t always strangers. It’s common for a scam to originate from a caregiver or close friend or family member. Therefore, it’s even more essential to be proactive about scam prevention, offering your loved one protection before something goes wrong.

How to Protect Your Parents

Here are a few things families can do to protect their aging parents from scams:

  1. Educate: Sit down and discuss common types of scams. Explain why parents should be cautious when people ask for personal information or money. Teach them to hang up the phone or throw away the letter. Educate them about the various ways to identify the signs of a potential scam.
  2. Unlist: Make sure your parent’s phone number is unlisted. You might choose to cancel the landline and give your loved one a cell phone instead. Scam calls aren’t as frequent on a cellular line. Cell phones also offer apps for scam protection, such as blocking phone numbers that call repeatedly.
  3. Credit Report: Check their credit reports annually. Seek professional services immediately if you see that any fraudulent accounts have been recently opened.
  4. Caregivers: Be diligent about screening caregivers and in-home help. Run background checks. Consider hiring people only through reputable service providers.

Paul Hynes
Paul Hynes

Director in Wealth Management, Partner

Paul joined Aspiriant in 2021 via a merger with HearthStone Private Wealth Management, the San Diego firm he co-founded with business partner, Wendy Wildey. Paul serves as a Director in Wealth Management and Aspiriant partner. Paul also directs the fiduciary investment services team at Aspiriant. He brings more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Prior to joining the firm, Paul served 11 years as president and CEO of HearthStone. Before that, he spent 22 years with a large Wall Street brokerage firm. During that time, the firm changed its name 13 times and is currently known as Morgan Stanley.

Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia. He earned the right to use the Certified Financial PlannerTM Professional designation in 2012. Paul founded Senior Safe & Sound, a non-profit educational resource and video library that seeks to educate and empower senior citizens and those they love to prevent elder fraud and abuse. He serves on the Investment Advisory Board of United Way of San Diego, as well as several other non-profit boards and committees.

Paul and his wife of over 40 years, Joanie, are empty nesters after raising two incredible and wonderful humans, Chris and Lauren. Together they enjoy sports of all kinds — currently golf, tennis and pickleball are favorites. They also enjoy travel, wine tasting and reading.

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