June 10, 2013
ELDER ABUSE: Protecting Yourself from Financial Abuse
The elderly are increasingly becoming targets for financial abuse. At least 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have been victimized, and many seniors may not even realize it.
Bank employees are frequently trained to notice when a customer is vulnerable or is currently a victim of financial abuse, by simply paying attention to red flags. The red flags can be invaluable when determining abuse—whether it is a bank employee noticing unusual recent withdrawals or a new person simply accompanying the older customers to the bank.
Customers can participate in protecting themselves from financial abuse by following these tips:
- Keep personal information private.
Never share your social security number, account information, or personal details over the phone or internet, unless you initiated contact with a trusted source.
- Shred! Shred! Shred!
Shred receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away so fraudsters can’t piece together your personal information.
- Don’t let a so-called “advisor” pressure you.
Never let a new or untrusted “advisor” pressure you into sharing personal or financial details. They could be a fraudster.
- Check your credit report.
Customers should check their credit report at least one a year to ensure no new credit cards or accounts have been opened by criminals in your name.
Being aware of warning signs and taking simple steps to safeguard personal information can mean the difference between being a victim and a fighter.
If you believe you are the victim of a fraud or scam, contact National Penn Customer Service at 1.800.822.3321.