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Seniors At High Risk Of Financial Fraud
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Seniors at High Risk Of Financial Fraud

Senior citizens may be much more vulnerable to financial abuse and fraud than others. This May is being marked as Older Americans Month, to show appreciation to senior persons in our communities. It's the right time for consumer fraud lawyers to draw attention to the fact that seniors are the most frequent victims of financial fraud.

Seniors may be at a much higher risk of fraud, because they are emotionally and physically vulnerable. Many seniors live alone or in old-age homes, and may suffer from loneliness. A person like this is much more vulnerable to smooth talk. Seniors may also be concerned about their finances, and may be much more susceptible to fraudulent annuities, bogus investments and other scams.

Family members are the first line of defense that a senior has against financial fraud. Make sure that you visit your loved one as often as possible, and check up on their financial information. Go through credit card statements, and check up credit card activity online. Teach the person to check up on these accounts on their own. Regular checks of credit card statements can let you know when fraud has occurred.

Protect the senior from unwanted visits by friends or family members with addiction and gambling issues, and heavy debt. Such persons may be desperate, and may be much more likely to resort to fraud to get their hands on money.

Go through your loved one’s mail, and see if there are any bogus charity organizations that he or she regularly makes donations to. Not all charity organizations are bogus, but a closer look doesn’t hurt.

One of the most important indicators that your loved one may be at risk of fraud is the presence of new friends. New friends don't necessarily mean trouble. However, if you have noticed a new friend or group of friends that your loved one has made, and keeps talking about incessantly, check whether these new friends have proposed any financial schemes or investments to your loved one.

What consumer fraud lawyers find even more worrying is that the actual number of seniors who are subject to such financial abuse and fraud may be higher, because many of these cases go unreported.

Family members have a significant role to play in protecting senior citizens from financial abuse. Make sure that the senior in your family registers with the National Do Not Call Registry, which limits telemarketing calls. Also, frequently monitor the person's bank and credit card statements. Look out for large, unusual payments that have been made from the credit card.


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