As you think about your personal year-end accounting and financial tasks, consider ways that you might support the financial needs of elderly family members. It’s important that you maintain awareness about their financial situation. Here are a few tips that can help you uncover financial abuse.
Financial To-Do List to Detect Elder Abuse
- Review Checking Account Trends: Look at the trends throughout the year and note any uncommon activity. Regular, unaccounted withdrawals could be a red flag. Large withdrawals or checks made out to “cash” could be signs that someone is taking money.
- Inspect the Checkbook: Inspect the duplicate copies in the check register to identify if anything seems unusual. Pay attention to the frequency of checks that are written, as well as any changes in the signature.
- Look at Credit Card Statements: Pay attention to small transactions, between $10 and $50. Sometimes, scammers pretend to raise money for a good cause, and then they create a monthly recurring fee on the credit card. These smaller transactions are often overlooked since they don’t show as a big purchase on the card.
- Inventory Valuables in the Home: It’s important to keep an inventory of valuables in the home. Then, check to be sure that nothing is missing. Pay attention to jewelry, cash, electronics, art, or anything else that could be sold for cash.
- Identify New Bank Accounts or Credit Cards: Ask about any new bank accounts or credit cards that have been set up. If the senior doesn’t have the cognitive ability to share this information, you might consider running a credit report to review the recent history.
The best way to identify financial fraud is to maintain familiarity with the financial trends for the household. The end of the year is a good time to evaluate the situation. But, it is far better if you keep a close eye on these things throughout the year.
Do you need help identifying potential financial abuse signs? We are here to assist you! Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.