AIG’s Elder and Vulnerable Client Care department helps in preventing, detecting, investigating, and providing reports on elder financial abuse

In the US, elder financial abuse is a prevalent and costly issue, which robs the elderly in the country of billions every year, according to estimates.

Buttressing this assertion is a study uncovering a cruel juxtaposition as we get older: The confidence we have in our financial abilities remains unchanged. However, our financial literacy decreases drastically. 

This shows that even if we’re strongly convinced we can push on alone, we could be gradually losing the ability to keep on making smart financial decisions.

In today’s world, where new fraudulent activities are common, and social distancing makes senior isolation more prevalent, it’s vital that you consider ways to avoid seniors from financial abuse. 

Still, 1 in 2 seniors (65 years or older) plan how to spend their money all alone. This leaves them vulnerable to financial exploitation and scams, as reported in the AIG Plan for 100 Elder Financial Abuse Survey.

As Boomers look at ways for safeguarding their elderly parents’ finances against fraudsters and unscrupulous people, it’s crucial to bear in mind that the best time for self-planning is before you need it. 

Below, we consider tips Boomers can use for fortifying their seniors’ hard-earned savings, and theirs too, against elder financial abuse:

Be aware of the scams to look out for

In a bid to help the elderly protect themselves against possible financial threats, the first step to take is awareness. Here are a couple of the most common financial scams that your seniors need to know:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Impersonation Scams: These scams come in the form of calls that pretend to be from the IRS, claiming you’ll face prosecution if you fail to pay up on missing taxes. Note that government agencies seldom give people a phone call. By including your phone number in a do not call (DNC) list, you can limit these kinds of calls.
  • Sweepstakes or Lottery Scams: This scam involves making the elderly believe they have won a lottery and have to pay a fee to claim their winnings. Even after seniors have made the payment, they’ll continue to get several daily calls asking for more money.
  • Robocalls & Unsolicited Calls: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that almost 2.4 billion robocalls are made per month. Avoid taking calls, texts or emails requesting urgent personal information unless you’re the one that initiated the phone call.
  • COVID-19 Scams: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given a note of warning on products that are falsely claiming to provide treatment for or prevention against the novel coronavirus, along with fake charities. Be cautious of alleged government phone calls about organizing coronavirus tests, and don’t open phishing emails promising vaccinations and home test kits.
  • Grandparent Scams: In this scam, imposters will pretend to be your grandchild or an authority figure that has your grandchild with them. They’ll claim the grandchild is in some kind of trouble and needs money to assist him/her with an emergency. If you’re not certain you’re being scammed, you can ask some simple questions, which you think only your grandchild would be able to answer correctly.

Seek help from a financial advisor ahead of the time of need 

The easiest thing is to work with your mom and dad to prepare them for success long before they start experiencing cognitive decline. By getting started with these conversations early enough when your parents are still sharp mentally, you’ll be able to make sure their wishes are implemented. 

In the same vein, consider developing a plan for yourself before it becomes a pressing need, so you can control the process and keep your wealth safe.

In the AIG survey, it was discovered, using a financial advisor’s services increases the chances of making wise choices, such as making plans for a Power of Attorney, to avoid financial exploitation. 


Get help from a trusted loved one

If you’re a caregiver, you can serve as a trusted loved one to help protect your senior from fraudulent people and bad actors. It’s essential that you identify warning signs of vulnerability in your senior, like forgetfulness, withdrawal, or depression. 

You could also help them reconcile account statements, look for local resources, and verify documents for doctors and health caregivers.

AIG: This is the marketing name for the global property-casualty, life & retirement & general insurance programs of American International Group, Inc.


With Gratitude and Love
Dewvy ❤️