Regrettably, millions of older Americans fall victim to financial scams every year, and in some cases, they end up losing a good portion of the wealth they worked their entire lives to amass to scams. In many cases, the people scamming older adults are actually their own family members, so it is important to recognize that scammers are often those who hold positions of trust with an older individual.

If you have aging parents, you may have valid concerns about them falling prey to financial scams that target the elderly. There are several things you can do to help protect your loved ones and their financial interests from falling victim to financial scams.

Make sure they stay active

Isolation is a common factor in financial scams targeting the elderly. If your loved one is unable to drive or easily get around and you see his or her social life suffering as a result, know that this could make your loved one more likely to fall victim to a scam. Similarly, if that loved one’s caregiver makes it difficult for you to get ahold of him or her, this could also be cause for alarm.

Teach them to protect their personal information

You may be able to reduce your elderly loved one’s chances of falling victim to a scam by making sure he or she knows to protect confidential information. Make sure your loved one knows not to give any personal, credit card or similar information out over the phone unless he or she was the one to initiate the call. Similarly, advise your loved one to be wary of anyone who comes to the door to try to sell something.

There are a number of reasons scammers often try to prey on the elderly. Recognizing some of the common tactics they use may allow you to help your elder loved one steer clear of them.

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