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Protect the Elderly Members of Your Family

As we become acclimated to the new norm of digital banking, it is important to remember that not all members of our family are as equipped to recognize the dangerous signs of online threats such as account fraud and scams. We have seen a rise within our senior population becoming victims of fraud including fraudulent wires and un-known parties being granted account access. We care about our membership and want ALL our members to be aware of the dangers that come along with online banking, and the steps that they can take to protect themselves. Some of these signs may appear more obvious than others, but all are important when assessing to see if an older person is your family has become a victim of fraud. Sometimes fraud isn’t as always as easily seen. As family members, it is just as important to listen to what our loved ones say to alert us that something is wrong.

Here’s what to look for:
• Sudden and unexplained large sum withdrawals
• Adding additional parties to the elder’s bank card
• Unauthorized withdrawals by a party using the elder’s card
• Abrupt and unexplained changes to financial documents and disappearance
of possessions
• Unpaid bills, despite the availability of adequate financial resources
• Discover of forged signatures for financial transactions and valuable possessions
• Sudden appearance of uninvolved relatives claiming rights to elder’s affairs and
• Unexplained transfer of assets to family or someone outside of the family without
known cause

Here’s what to listen for:
• I’m having trouble paying the bills because they are confusing to me
• I don’t feel comfortable making big financial decisions alone
• I don’t understand the financial decisions that are being made for me
• I gave “Sam” a gift, and I know I can’t afford it
• My children are pressuring me to give them money
• People are calling me and tell me I won the lottery
• I have been told I won money, and all I need to do is give them my bank information
• I don’t know how, but money seems to be disappearing from my account

Knowing what to look for and what to listen for are just the first steps in protecting our elders from to contact the proper parties to ensure their safety. Our elders are protected under the California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, and we can assist you with reporting your observations to the proper authorities financial abuse. If you suspect that a loved one has become the victim of fraud it is extremely important.

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