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Common scams you need to protect your elderly parent from

When a parent begins to slow down mentally with age or develops a cognitive condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it can feel like everything you know is falling apart. You relied on your parents most of your life first for your physical needs and then for their emotional support and wisdom as an adult. Now that you see your parent start to decline, you might fear for his or her financial security. Sadly, this is a valid concern for you and other Oklahoma residents in similar situations.

Scams targeting elderly Americans are not uncommon. The National Adult Protective Services Association claims that one out of every 20 seniors has been the victim of financial abuse. Your parent may have been wary of potential frauds in the past, but changing trends and evolving technology can make it difficult for even the sharpest of minds to suspect wrongdoing. The following scams frequently target the elderly and others who may fall prey to their sophisticated nature:

  • Emails claiming to be from a grandchild or other relative who has been stranded or arrested and needs cash wired to them to get them out of their situation
  • Fraudulent IRS phone calls stating the target will face fines or arrest for not paying back taxes
  • Phone calls from utility companies saying they will shut off service unless the target makes immediate payment
  • A computer virus directing the user to a hacker who offers to fix the computer for a large fee, then often locks up the computer beyond repair after taking payment
  • Caregivers, family members, friends, financial advisors or others who coerce or trick the senior into signing over power of attorney or access to bank accounts

Vulnerable seniors may willingly give away large sums of money without realizing they are being scammed. You might want to consider legal options, such as obtaining power of attorney, which may protect your parent’s financial interests.

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