Scams, Fraud and Financial Abuse
Seniors are often the targets of financial scams, fraud and financial abuse. If you're a senior or know someone who is, learn how to avoid being taken advantage of by strangers or even someoneclose to you.
ESOP conducts Money Smart for Older Adults training developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the FDIC.
The program raises awareness among older adults and their caregivers on how to prevent elder financial exploitation and encourages advance planning and informed financial decision-making. The workshops consist of six classes which cover the following topics:
- Common Types of elder Financial Exploitation
- Identity Theft
- Medical Identity Theft
- Scams that Target Homeowners
- Scams that Target Veterans Benefits
- Understanding Credit Reports and Scores
- Understanding Banking and Financial Products
- Planning for Unexpected Life Events
Group trainings or public information forums can be scheduled at ESOP offices or in your community.
Ms. Cynthia Clark
Ms. Clark attended the Money Smart for Older Adults (MSOA) training presented by ESOP at the Margaret Wagner home, run by The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. Before the training she said she really didn’t know much about financial exploitation and the need to protect her finances. “I just knew sort of to be careful and not leave my identification and money card lying around,” said Ms. Clark.
MSOA is part of a comprehensive Senior Financial Education Workshop series that ESOP uses to help older adults learn how to manage their often limited finances and protect them from financial abuse. A key component of our Senior Financial Education Workshops is learning to identify and avoid financial exploitation and abuse through frauds, scams and all-out theft. Ms. Clark became much more aware of how she can be the target of financial exploitation and how to avoid it.
“One day in October I was checking my checking account for my balance and when they read off my last 10 transactions three of my last transactions were a dollar, a dollar, a dollar,” said Ms. Clark. Small transactions are often used by scammers to test an account before hitting it for larger amounts that can do real damage to a person’s credit or bank account. Because Ms. Clark spotted the suspicious activity she was able to take action. “First I got a new bank card and a new pin number. I learned to check my account at least once a week and anything that’s not right or I haven’t done that I notify the bank.”
Ms. Clark says the class taught her a lot. “I would recommend the training. Most older people don’t check on their accounts and they take everything for granted. You can’t take things for granted now days . . . Listen and pay attention because it will really help you. It will really keep you from losing a lot of money.”