We would all like to believe that a close friend or family member would never harm us, financially or otherwise. But unfortunately, that is a common reality for senior citizens.
One elderly lady allowed her granddaughter to move in with her, presumably to help around the house because she is blind. Sadly, the disability (her vision impairment) which made her physically vulnerable also made her financially vulnerable. Her granddaughter was a heroin addict, and used her debit card to withdraw 200 dollars every day in order to feed her habit.
The grandmother had no idea this was happening, because guess who was responsible for opening the mail and reading her bank statements? For months, this lady’s granddaughter was siphoning money from her bank account, and she was kept in the dark.
One day this elderly lady received a telephone call from the bank, informing her that her account was overdrawn. And that was when she finally learned her own granddaughter had robbed her of 55,000 dollars.
Stories like this one are more common than you might believe. Luckily, they can be prevented by taking one very simple step: Copy your bank statements to a licensed professional.
Ideally, this person would be a trusted financial advisor, who is both skilled with financial issues and held accountable to ethical standards. As you have seen, a family member is not always the best choice! This person should be someone who can immediately alert you if they spot suspicious activity on your account, and of course, it should be someone who has agreed to take on the task.
If you have an elderly, blind relative, consider asking them to have copies of bank statements and important financial documents sent to a trusted professional. You might also choose to take this step yourself.
As always, your safety is our utmost concern. Give us a call for more information on keeping your finances safe as you age.