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Is Your Parent at Risk for Financial Scams?

Judie Rappaport
July 17, 2014

Adult Children Beware:


Your parents, a.k.a. "Seniors," especially women living alone, are the #1 target for financial scams. If Mom participates, even once, she's marked as "good potential" and will receive offer after offer after offer. One successful scammer can destroy your family's financial security. Help safeguard your parents' assets (and dignity) by alerting them to the warning signs.


Make sure Mom understands that reputable banks, financial advisors, credit card or other companies will never call or email you asking for your account number, social security number, credit card code, or any personal financial information. This scam gives the caller the information he needs to withdraw money from your accounts. 

  1. Delete all emails asking for personal information without responding. Replying encourages the scam artists to try again.
  2. If a caller supplies a telephone number to call and speak to a bank or credit card company, hang up. Your call will be answered by a con artist pretending to be a legitimate company. Never discuss financial issues unless you have initiated the call.
  3. Discard offers requiring you to pay fees (shipping, handling, deposits) or make a purchase to win a prize. Prizes are free.
  4. Ignore "amazing offers" with urgent payment deadlines, insisting you wire money, or offering to pick up the payment. The only amazing result you'll see is the caller disappearing with your money.
  5. Ignore offers promising to recoup previous losses in telemarketing scams and discard offers to help you qualify for low interest loans if you pay an upfront fee. These are new scams hoping to take advantage of you again.
  6. Use only the year of birth (not the day and month) in obituaries. Do not include the home address. In 2004, app. 400,000 checking accounts were opened using names of deceased people.
  7. Ignore requests for donations if the caller refuses to send you written information before you agree to donate.


If Mom is unable or refuses to follow these guidelines, consult an Elder Law or Trust and Estate attorney about the best way to protect her assets--and yours!


Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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