INALA Conversations: Preventing Financial Fraud

Starting a conversation about health, finances and living situations with a loved one can be difficult- but it doesn’t have to be. The INALA Conversations series is a resource to help prepare you for those discussions. Let us help guide you through these important conversations with some helpful tips and insight. Positive communication is key!

Tips for Discussing Fraud Prevention with Older Adults:

1.  Be Honest! Financial fraud is NOT limited to older adults. It can happen to anyone. Make sure the older adults understand that they are not the only targets —don’t make them feel like an outcast.

2. Remind older adults if it seems too good to be true, it is! This is especially important to remember when it comes to investment options. Sometimes, it helps to bring up examples. (Do they remember Bernie Madoff?)

3. Make sure they know, if something seems suspicious or if they don’t remember signing up for something, they should reach out for help looking into the situation further. An extra set of eyes could save thousands!

4. Free trials are great, but they are only trials. Encourage older adults (and yourself!) to put in a cancellation reminder on their calendar if they don’t want their free trial to turn into a monthly fee!

Tips to Prevent Fraud:

1. Don’t let others into your home: this is especially true if there are multiple sales personnel at the door. It would be relatively easy for someone to pick up your driver’s license or checkbook in your home – especially if they are left out.

2. If an individual’s line of work or company seems suspicious, call the better business bureau for additional information – ESPECIALLY if they ask for payment up front for services.

3. Stay cautious with notifications. If you receive an email or call from a number stating they are your bank, call the number on the back of your bank card or stop by your local branch.

4. Never, EVER provide your social security number to someone over the phone. A common telephone scam is to claim to be with the IRS. The IRS does not call people and ask for their social security numbers.

5. Report suspicions of financial exploitation and stay informed on preventative steps.

For additional information and tips on keeping financial safety and preventative fraud measures top-of-mind, view the resources below:

Protecting Yourself From Financial Exploitation

4 Ways to Bust Elder Financial Fraud

How the Attorney General’s Office Assists with Senior Fraud