Learning how to keep yourself or a loved one safe from financial exploitation is the key to prevention. Statistically, the majority of those who prey on the elderly have some form of personal relationship with them, either as a caretaker or a relative.

Elderly persons with cognitive issues like dementia are especially vulnerable to the predators that would exploit them. One of the best ways to prevent the potential for financial abuse is to name a family member in whom there can be complete trust as financial power of attorney.

Hiring a third-party financial planner to monitor bank accounts and bill payments is one way seniors can help prevent financial abuse. For a fee these professionals monitor financial transactions and ensure that bills are being paid.

In most cases, family members can and should work together to keep track of an elderly person’s finances. Meet regularly to discuss how things are going. Make sure that there is more than one set of eyes on the finances at all times and never wait to share concerns. Pay close attention to the mail. An increase in credit card offers is a red flag that someone has applied for credit in the senior’s name. Investigate late notices for bills or overdraft notices.

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