Our governments have taken severe measures to limit personal interactions with seniors in an effort to protect the population most vulnerable and at risk for the Coronovirus. Isolating seniors, however, can exacerbate another problem to which seniors are particularly vulnerable: financial exploitation.
According to a recent InvestmentNews article, isolating seniors creates a perfect scenario for scammers to take advantage of them. Cognitive decline can become heightened in times of stress and loneliness. Financial advisors, who are often on the front lines of defense when it comes to financial exploitation of the elderly, are postponing and cancelling reviews and meetings with seniors in an effort to keep them safe.
There are still things we can do to keep our seniors safe from financial exploitation during the pandemic.
- Encourage seniors to add a trusted contact on their investment accounts who will receive duplicate monthly statements, trade confirmation, and withdrawal confirmations
- Watch for dramatic or unexplained shifts in investment style
- Watch for sudden withdrawals or changes in amount or the frequency of withdrawals
- Watch for the inability to pay bills or multiple bills at the same time, including bouncing checks
- Watch for repeated issues with resetting of online account access passwords
- Encourage seniors to check in by phone or video conferencing with their financial professionals to discuss any changes to their health, finances, or goals