Guest column by Dimity Orlet, Pro Seniors
Every year, millions of older adults experience financial exploitation, resulting in billions of dollars in personal losses. A frequent target of scammers, older Americans also often endure financial pressure from caregivers or family members, some of whom take advantage of trusting relationships for personal gain.
How can you protect yourself from scams and financial exploitation? The answer – by learning the warning signs of exploitation and common scams, protective measures to guard against exploitation, how to report exploitation, and how to access resources. Here are some things to consider:
What are some warning signs to look for?
- Pressure to act immediately
- Attempts to isolate you from your family and friends
- Requests to keep conversations or relationships “a secret”
- Threats of harm, neglect, abandonment, or removal from your home
How can I protect myself?
- Stay in touch with loved ones. Avoid isolation as much as possible.
- Sign up for a service that tracks your bank accounts, investments and credit cards. Most financial institutions have security measures and notifications that customers can enable.
- Designate someone you trust to be your financial power of attorney and your contact for guidance with accounts and investments.
What can I do if I experience financial exploitation?
- Contact your local police department.
- Contact your local Adult Protective Services office.
- Click here for local locations and contact information. Or call 855-OHIO-APS.
- Contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or click here to visit their website.
How can I learn more and get help if I need it?
Contact Pro Seniors to request a presentation on financial exploitation prevention by calling Mary at 513-458-5525 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Ohio adults age 60+ (or someone designated to call on their behalf) may call for a free phone appointment with a Legal Helpline attorney.
Call 513-345-4160 or toll free 1-800-4060 Monday through Friday:
8:30am – 4:30pm.
More information is available by clicking here.