5 Tips to Protect Against Elder Abuse

5 Tips to Protect Against Elder Fraud and Financial Exploitation

5 Tips to Protect Against Elder AbuseUnfortunately, elder fraud--targeting older adults in an attempt to deceive with false promises of services, financial benefits and goods that are non-existent, or financially exploiting older adults with the illegal use of their funds or property--happens all too often. Below are five tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Don't isolate yourself: Elder fraud is more likely to occur when you isolate yourself from others in the community; it's easier for abuse to occur behind closed doors or for someone to take advantage of you when you're alone. Find ways to stay active in the community. Eldercare Locator can help you find activities in your area.

Get listed on the do not call list: By decreasing the number of telemarketer phone calls and mailings you receive, you also decrease the risk of elder fraud and financial exploitation. Visit www.donotcall.gov to add your name to the list.

Use direct deposit: Sign up for direct deposit for any benefit and social security checks you receive. This will help you avoid the risk of hard copy checks in the mail being stolen.

Be smart when giving info over the phone: Only provide personal information over the phone if you initiated the call to speak with a reputable company or individual.

Don't be afraid to speak up: Ninety percent of elder abuse is committed by a family member. For this reason, many elders are afraid to, or feel bad about, speaking up. No one deserves to be a victim of elder abuse or fraud, so don't be afraid to speak up and protect yourself.

For more information and tips around elder fraud, visit the National Council on Aging and stopfraud.gov

In our next post, we'll share signs to help you identify elder fraud to support those who have fallen victim to such abuse.