The Wall Street Journal “Wealth Report” recently published a story by Veronica Dagher titled “When an Elderly Parent Has Been Scammed.” The article outlines key steps for an adult child to take if he/she expects that a parent or loved one is the victim of elder financial abuse. McManus & Associates Founding Principal John O. McManus is quoted throughout the piece.
At the outset of the article, Dagher helps readers understand both the obstacles that they’re likely to encounter when trying to help an elderly loved one who has been scammed and the typical feelings of the victim. Empathy and patience are key.
Dagher then lays out concrete steps, identifying actions that can be taken by the many people who find themselves in the difficult situation of picking up the pieces left by elder financial abuse. From the story:
….it’s important to report fraud to the parent’s local police department and file a police report immediately, says John McManus, an attorney in New Providence, N.J. Even if an investigation doesn’t identify the scammer or result in a prosecution, documenting the fraud can be helpful when disputing any account charges, Mr. McManus says.
Children should help the parent alert credit-card companies, banks and any other financial institutions where the parent has an account, he says. They also should review the parent’s credit reports for suspicious activity. And the parent’s bank accounts, insurance policies and investments should be reviewed to see if there have been any changes in beneficiaries or account ownership, or if loans have been taken out against the policies, Mr. McManus says.
He also recommends that victims change and unlist their landline and cellphone numbers to help protect against further abuse.
And later in the story:
If you don’t have power of attorney and suspect your parent is being swindled, visit the parent’s bank or branch manager to discuss your concerns, Mr. McManus says. You possess no legal rights to the parent’s financial information, but at least a visit puts the financial institution on notice that there may be a problem and they may be more likely to detect any fraud, he says.
Click here to read the full story for more great tips on salvaging a situation where an elderly loved one has been swindled. For experienced guidance on dealing with elder financial abuse, or to be proactive and protect your loved ones before any damage has been done, give McManus & Associates a call at 908.898.0100.