NEW YORK -- When it comes to scams and fraud, we are often looking out for the unknown con artists. But most financial crimes against older adults are perpetrated by someone they know. Financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse in the US, and the average victim loses $120,000. We also know this crime is severely underreported. But AARP New York and ABC7 are here to help New Yorkers fight back against fraud.
Social isolation is a significant risk factor for financial abuse, and one of the best ways to combat it is maintaining regular contact with your older loved ones. Some telling signs of financial abuse include sudden changes in mood or behavior, or new financial issues like overdue bills or maxed out credit cards. To protect yourself or your loved ones, your best weapon against fraud is vigilance.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network puts proven tools and resources right at your fingertips - from news articles, to fraud literacy quizzes, to a scam-tracking map that tells you about fraud in your community. Start with these five simple tips to fight back:
- Shred your sensitive documents before throwing them out.
- Protect yourself from robocalls and other phone scams.
- Look up and report scams in your area with AARP's interactive fraud map.
- Check your credit report annually with all here credit reporting companies.
- Sign up for free "watchdog alerts" from the AARP Fraud Watch Network to help you spot scams.
True to its mission to protect the financial security of older adults, AARP New York together with ABC7 want you to be vigilant to prevent scams. If you suspect your older loved one is suffering from financial exploitation, contact Adult Protective Services in your area for guidance and support. If you fear your loved one is in danger, call 911.
To get more information or report a suspected scam, visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 and speak to trained staff or volunteers for help with a fraud encounter.