Elder Protection Day highlights ways to avoid financial abuse

June 14, 2012

Elderly people throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion each year due to financial exploitation. That’s according to the Administration on Aging, which says that only about one in five of such incidence of abuse are discovered. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Terry Ward reports.

TERRY WARD: Today is Elder Protection Day, designed to draw attention to the financial exploitation of older people. Eleanor Blayney, author of the Consumer Guide to Financial Self-Defense says victims sometimes are reluctant to report being ripped-off, especially if the culprit is a family member, which she says often is the case. Blayney urges older people to start a dialog with a trusted friend or relative about financial planning.
 
ELEANOR BLAYNEY: Start talking about the financial situation, where things are, talk about meeting with a financial professional, have Power of Attorney.
 
WARD: Blayney says a list of ’10 red flags’ for financial abuse is on the Certified Financial Planners website or CFP.net.
 
BLAYNEY: We give real-life situations, where they have been pressured, given inadequate information, little explanation of costs or little information given at all.
 
WARD: Blayney says a trusted friend or family member should watch for a large or steady flow of money from one account to another. Or evidence of a large check made out to ‘CASH’ can be a sign of foul play.