Senior Banking Safety
Senior citizens can unfortunately be the targets of fraud often because of their trusting nature and generosity. They may also be impaired in some way, perhaps suffering from Alzheimer’s, and more prone to giving away money than they would have in their sharper years. Whatever the reason, senior fraud is alive and well in this country. But there is something you can do about it.
Financial fraud is one of the more common forms of fraud that centers around unsuspecting senior citizens. Authorities point out that this age group is especially vulnerable to fraud because
- Seniors have often accumulated large nest eggs in their retirement that attract scam artists.
- Many seniors can’t help but be polite and trusting of others; after all, they were brought up this way.
- Seniors often don't report fraud because they don't know where to begin or who to call. They often feel ashamed and don't want to let anyone know they may have made a mistake.
If you know and love a senior citizen, you may have to take it upon yourself to protect them and make sure they don’t fall victim to fraud. Check out the most common forms of fraud in seniors:
- Internet and Email Scams. Other senior citizens who aren’t so Internet savvy can find the online world scary and difficult to navigate. Social media platforms alone are regular stomping grounds for fraudsters. Research reveals that adults over the age of 74 turn to the Internet for health information, product information and the latest news. But when it comes to online and email safety, they can easily be talked into something they don’t really understand. Sure, younger users are aware of all the tricks and scams, but older adults aren’t quite as confident and can be swayed into giving up their bank routing numbers, credit card numbers and social security numbers.
- Shady Stock Brokers and Financial Advisors. Many older adults unwittingly trust their stock brokers and financial advisers, blindly taking all their suggestions. This makes it easy for less-than-reputable professionals to take advantage of their clients. Shady trades, investment pressures, false or misleading information…these all make up a large part of senior fraud. Finding trusted advisors with strong reputations and that are easily accessible can help allay those fears, both for caregivers and seniors alike.
Many Canadians are also concerned about how to manage their money, property, and finances as they age or as life changes take place. They may worry about what will happen if they become unable to deal with their own finances. It is a good idea to plan ahead for a time when you may need help managing your affairs. The Government of Canada provides a great resources for information on Powers of Attorney and Joint Banking Account here.
And as always, Access Credit Union is here to help with any question you may have. Visit your branch today or call our Member Service Centre at 1.800.264.2926.