SmartMoney Monday: Elderly financial abuse

SmartMoney Monday: Elderly financial abuse

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For this week's Smart Money Mondays, we're going to talk about a problem that affects far too many of our kupuna – financial abuse. It is about a $36-billion-dollar a year problem. Roughly 1 in 18 elderly adults are victims of financial fraud and abuse. As parents become older and their faculties slow down, they can be more easily taken advantage of. So what can people do to protect their parents from financial abuse?

Tell them to never send money or give any personal or financial information to people claiming to be from sweepstakes or lotteries. Hang up if they don't know the caller and never send or wire money to people they haven't met in person. If something sounds too good to be true, be very suspicious.

One option to help your parents is to have one trusted child be given power of attorney to intervene in their parent's financial affairs. Or, instead of giving one person power of attorney, two people can be named joint agents, where both agents must agree on financial decisions. As parents' age, it's important to keep a very close eye on their financial affairs. We can educate our loved ones and help prevent them from becoming a victim of elderly fraud. Things like not giving away personal or financial information to strangers and becoming power of attorney for your parents are great tips to help this situation.

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