Make no mistake about it… our seniors are at risk when it comes to losing their money.
And when it happens, it hurts. On average, seniors lose between $40k – $50k when they are the victims of abuse.
Scammers, predatory lenders, caregivers & even family members are stealing money from seniors in record numbers.
You Can Help Stop the Abuse
As responsible mortgage lenders and Certified Reverse Mortgage Professionals, we want to help end the abuse of our beloved seniors by educating people about this problem and showing them what they can do about it.
Tip #1 – Be Aware of the Risk
Simply being aware of the growing problem may help you or a senior recognize suspicious behavior before it’s too late.
Younger people may recognize obvious scams when they see them, but seniors often fall prey to:
- Romance scams – promising relationships or in-person meetings
- Lottery/sweepstakes scams
Sadly, a growing number of abuse complaints aren’t coming from scammers. They’re coming from people the seniors already know including:
- Family members
These numbers are frightening!
Tip #2 – Don’t Turn a Blind Eye
Statistics show that barely ⅓ of senior abuse events are actually reported to the authorities.
If you believe that you or someone you know is a victim of financial exploitation, contact your local adult protective services (APS) agency (link below). You can find out how to reach your APS office from the Eldercare Locator (link below) or by calling 1-800-677-1116.
- Louisiana Adult Protective Services
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- File a Complaint at the FTC
- Eldercare Locator Service
Of course, you can also report theft and abuse to the local police department as well.
Tip #3 – Help Seniors Find Advisors They Can Trust
We all need a circle of trusted advisors we can count on. Seniors are no different.
Talk to the seniors in your life and find out if they have people they trust to help them make important decisions. People you might recommend to them include:
- Mortgage Lenders
- Financial Advisors
- Personal Assistants
And remember, you’re trying to help protect seniors not only from service providers, but family members as well. Make sure to recommend advisors who aren’t afraid to intervene in family situations when necessary.
Please share this article with others who serve seniors or have seniors in their lives. Let’s all do our part to END senior abuse!