Unfortunately, seniors are a vulnerable community when it comes to money scams. Thieves seek out the elderly to ask for money in ways that will play to their emotions. If you are the caregiver of a senior citizen, there are safeguards that you can implement to ensure your loved one doesn’t fall for a financial scam. Look at these five tips:
- Set Up Bank Alerts: Most banks offer text message alerts for each time money is spent. Set up alerts and inquire about any charge, no matter how big or small.
- Get a Prepaid Bank Card: Instead of offering full access to the whole bank account, set up a prepaid debit card that will cover all groceries and bills for the month. Then if your loved one is met with a request to send money, they will have to talk to you about it first.
- Look for Recurring Activity: Financial scams may show up in the form of magazine subscriptions that are never delivered or other monthly charges.
- Recognize Charges that Start Small and Increase: Many times, the scammers will commit seniors to pay small amounts that they hope will go unnoticed. Then, once they have their credit card number, the charges will increase significantly.
- Speak with Your Loved One about Common Scams: Keep an open line of communication with your elderly loved ones. Arm them with knowledge so that they know how to protect themselves:
- Never give your credit card number over the phone
- Never send gift cards to an unverified address
- Do not reimburse someone for an overpayment
Watch for these signs and know how to recognize a scam. Then, share this with your aging loved ones to prevent financial scams in the future.