As your parents become older, they are more likely to become confused. When this happens, they may become the victims of financial scams. One of the benefits of long-term care is that you will have professionals not only looking after your parents' physical well-being, but they will also make it more difficult for scam artists to isolate your parents and exploit them financially. However, there are also ways you can identify that your loved one is being scammed and prevent this from occurring.
Explain Why You Are Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands
Even if your parents are confused, you should still explain why you are making decisions on their behalf. This will not only give your parents more of a sense of autonomy, but will also help remind your parents of why they might be getting scammed. For example, if your parent receives an advanced fee scam via email, remind your parent about how it works and why it is illogical that someone would want to send money for no reason.
Spend More Time With Your Parents
When your parents become lonely, they may reach out to those who are simply viewing your parents as easy targets for a scam. Elders can have a more difficult time ascertaining the motives of others. However, if you visit your parents more often, they may feel less lonely and will be less willing to reach out to others. Also, you can ask questions that can help you uncover a scam that they are falling prey to.
Take More Control of Your Parents' Finances
Offer to manage as many aspects of your parents finances as possible. For example, tell your parents that you will mail their bills for them. By doing so, you can monitor whom they are sending money to and whether the recipients of these payments are legitimate. Also, ask to be put in control of your parents' bank accounts. Then, you can monitor the amounts deposited or withdrawn. If you notice strange discrepancies, such as a dwindling bank account balance, you will be able to take more proactive measures. Monitor their credit reports as well.
Coach Your Parents On Giving Out Personal Information
Remind your parents not to give out personal information to those who call them on the phone regardless of whom they claim to be. Also, ask your parents about whom they have been talking to and if they have given out personal information recently. If your parents have made a mistake and you are able to discover it, you may still be able to limit the damage by canceling credit cards, freezing their bank accounts temporarily or taking advantage of identity theft protection services.
Ask Long Term Care Providers About Any Visitors
Even if your parents are in long term care, you should still be inquisitive and learn about whom they have been talking to. Ask the long term care providers, such as St. Joseph's Ministries, about any visitors that your parents have received. If any of these visitors seem suspicious, inquire further about their identities. You may be able to uncover a scam.