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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Some scams exist within households

Some of the most common forms of scams come as a form of abuse involving people close to the household.

The most common types of abuse are physical, emotional, financial, and verbal.
The National Council on Aging says up to five million older Americans are abused yearly, and the annual loss by victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $36.5 billion. In Canada, over 10 percent of older adults are victims of crime, and some experience violent crimes or physical abuse.

The Better Business Bureau recommends that family, friends, and caregivers learn the signs of abuse or neglect in older adults. Business owners dealing in the industry can share these signs with employees.

Here are some signs of financial abuse or exploitation:
• Lack of amenities the person could typically afford. A sudden problem with affording the basics, especially if the person was able to in the past (with no change in income), is a sign of financial abuse or exploitation. This could be from a family member, caregiver, or con artist.
• Giving excessive financial reimbursement or gifts for care and companionship. Care and companionship are necessary and can take a financial toll occasionally. But if care costs drain an individual’s bank account, it’s time to investigate and re-assess.
• The caregiver controls the person’s money but fails to provide for their needs. A sure sign of financial exploitation is when a caregiver fails to provide an older person with adequate supplies, food, clothing, or other necessities.
• The caregiver is overly concerned about the person spending money. Caregivers should be concerned with an individual’s spending habits if it is damaging to their health or well-being. Still, average daily spending should not be of concern to a caregiver.
• Unexpected or unexplainable property transfers such as a power of attorney or a new will. These can be especially concerning when the person in care cannot comprehend the transaction or what it means. When in doubt, family and friends should look into these transactions carefully.

Share your scam story
Local law enforcement is concerned about the impact of scams on area residents, particularly the elderly.
Consequently, this newspaper works with local police and sheriff’s departments to keep residents updated on common schemes. Scam Alerts will appear in future editions as often as possible in the coming weeks.
Readers can also find online scam updates Tuesdays at windomnews.com.
If you have been the target of a scam, your first contact should be local authorities. Also, feel free to contact us with details (we can keep your name confidential).
Send your story to: rahnl@windomnews.com, or call 507-831-3455. By sharing, you could prevent someone from being scammed.

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