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Home > Tools & Resources > How to Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation | 4 Tips

How to Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation


Elder financial exploitation is a growing problem in the United States. Older Americans are targeted in person, over the phone, and online by individuals attempting to extort funds or take control of their finances. These abusers are often people close to the victim and purport to care about them. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Keep reading to learn tips for seniors and their families on how to prevent elder financial exploitation.

Be wary of people acting unusually friendly.

Most financial abusers will attempt to earn your trust and friendship before asking or pressuring you for money. They may visit you often and offer to drive you places. This isn’t to say you can’t make new friends or spend time with people. In fact, staying connected with friends and family is one of the best ways to avoid financial exploitation. But keep your guard up if someone begins showing special interest in you out of the blue. Keep your personal and financial information stored in a secure location when people visit your home. If anyone asks you for money or attempts to accompany you to your local credit union branch, tell someone you trust.

Protect yourself with power of attorney.

A power of attorney document gives someone of your choice the right to handle your financial matters if you are incapacitated. This can prevent untrustworthy individuals from taking control of your finances against your will. However, it’s vital that you consult with an attorney when creating this document. Be wary of anyone who offers to help you craft the document instead of an attorney or discourages you from seeing one. Make sure you fully understand what you are signing.

Safeguard your identity and credit with IdentityIQ®.

Online perpetrators may attempt to steal your personal and financial information through a variety of means. Someone who has stolen your identity can open credit cards and make purchases in your name, among other nefarious actions. In addition to watching out for suspicious emails, phone calls, and links, protect your data with IdentityIQ. We’re proud to partner with this award-winning provider of comprehensive identity and credit protection services. IdentityIQ offers credit reports from all three major credit bureaus, real-time credit report and identity monitoring, and suspicious activity alerts.

And remember, SharePoint Credit Union will never request personal details from you such as online or mobile banking login credentials, credit or debit card numbers, your account number, or Apple Pay / Google Pay information. If you’re uncertain, please call us at 952-930-0700.

For Family and Friends

Isolation leaves older people vulnerable to elder financial exploitation and other forms of abuse. Make a point to call your older relatives and friends and spend time with them in person. Take note of any new friends they have and trust your intuition. If someone is acting suspiciously, warn your older loved one to keep their guard up. This also applies to in-home caregivers. Vet your loved one’s caregivers thoroughly and observe how they interact with them. Make sure they know that you are keeping an eye on things and will not tolerate elder abuse of any kind.

Trust SharePoint Credit Union

Elder financial exploitation may be a growing problem, but partnering with a trusted team of financial experts adds a healthy layer of security to your fiscal situation. We offer numerous security options and alerts to keep your money and information safe at all times. Contact us today to join a financial institution you can trust.

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