As people are living longer due to healthier lifestyles and medical advancements, it is important to keep a watchful eye on our grandparents and other elders in our lives. September 8th was Grandparents Day, which got me thinking about how important it is to protect our elderly from financial abuse such as identity theft and other fraudulent behavior.
As we age, we become targets of unscrupulous people, some of whom are strangers and some of whom may even be family or close caregivers. Unfortunately we hear about both scenarios from our client base from time to time.
There are many actions you can take to protect a loved one from financial abuse, the most important is staying well informed and being aware.
Consumer Reports – a respected authority on this subject— recently published a short list of warning signs:
- Bank statements no longer coming to the elderly person’s home
- Changes in a power of attorney or will
- Changes in attorneys or banks
- Changes in beneficiaries
- Lack of personal amenities
- Large or unexplained bank transfers or withdrawals
- Missing property
- New authorized signers on the elderly person’s accounts
- Unfamiliar signatures on important documents
First County Bank takes this matter seriously. Go to the Your Privacy and Security section of our website for some helpful tips. We communicate with our customers on an ongoing basis about the topic of fraud and how to prevent it and invite anyone who is concerned to stop in any of our branches for more information. And, don’t forget, the best prevention strategy is to stay aware by checking in with your seniors as often as possible.