- Suspicious changes in wills or powers of attorney – Out of the blue, your grandfather wills all of his belongings to his new nurse.
- Financial activity the person couldn’t have done herself – You discover repeated ATM withdrawals from your bedridden mother’s bank account.
- Bills not being paid – When visiting a neighbor, you see mail piling up on his desk. Maybe his caregiver is using his money for something other than paying bills.
- Significant withdrawals or unusual purchases – You notice charges for fancy electronics on your thrifty aunt’s credit card bill
- Never “pay to play.” A legitimate sweepstakes will not ask for money upfront.
- You cannot win a sweepstakes or lottery that you did not enter.
- Be suspicious of any pressure to send funds via wire transfer or a pre-paid reloadable card.
- Pay attention to warnings from your financial institution that a request sounds like a scam. Your banker may have encountered similar situations in the past.
- Scammers often claim an emergency, hoping you will take quick action without checking out the situation. Before offering help to a grandchild (or another relative or friend), be sure to telephone your grandchild or the parents at a number you know to be valid to find out if the request is legitimate.
- If a caller claims to be from an established organization such as a hospital or law enforcement agency, look up the number of the organization independently before taking action.
- Consider it a red flag if the caller insists on secrecy. Never allow anyone to isolate or discourage you from seeking information, verification, support and counsel from family members, friends or trusted advisors prior to making any financial transaction.
How Can You Help?
- Listen to seniors and their caregivers.
- Intervene when you suspect elder abuse. Anyone can report elder abuse.
- Educate others about how to recognize and report elder abuse.
New Hampshire Residents
Bureau of Elderly & Adult Services (BEAS)
Contact BEAS from 8-4:30, Monday-Friday at (800) 949-0470 or (603) 271-7014.
For Nursing or Assisted Living Facilities
Contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman at (800) 442-5640 or (603) 271-4375.
Call 911 or the local police after hours, weekends or holidays.