If your aging parents lack the ability to effectively manage their finances, they may be at a much higher risk of falling victim to fraud. You can contribute to their protection when you remain actively involved in helping them monitor their finances.
You can also protect your parents when you educate them about what fraud looks like. If fraud does happen, the consequences could have a long-term impact on your parents’ financial well-being.
An often-unseen side effect of fraud is the psychological trauma it causes victims. If your parents fall prey to a scam, they may feel violated and afraid. They may have a hard time trusting anyone because of their experience and their distrust may turn into resentment and isolation.
Your parents may also feel guilty about having made the decision to give sensitive information to the scammers. They may feel embarrassed and worried about how others will view them. If they cannot recuperate some of the money they lost, they may experience anxiety about their losses. All of these heavy emotions may impact their quality of life and prevent them from feeling safe.
Perhaps the most obvious side effect of fraud is the financial hardship it can cause. The FBI reports that people lose a staggering $3 billion each year because of elder fraud. Depending on the condition of your parents’ retirement income, one incident of fraud could jeopardize their entire livelihood. In serious cases, such as identity theft, your parents may have a difficult time verifying personal information to recover damages.
If you have elderly loved ones suffering from fraud, you may want to hire an attorney. Your parents have worked hard to acquire what they have and should at least have a chance to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.