6 WebsiteCompass Feature Story Protect Yourself or Someone You Care About The good news about elder financial abuse is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself or the seniors in your life. The AARP recommends the following actions. Designate a Power of Attorney. As soon as possible, seniors should assign someone to make financial decisions for them in the event they become unable to do so. This step can help prevent would-be fraudsters from taking advantage. Appoint aTrusted Contact. Seniors can also assign a trusted contact for specific accounts. In the event of questionable activity or the senior’s unavailability, institutions can disclose some account information to the contact or enable them to view the account without performing any actions. Sign Up for a Tracking Service. Services like LifeLock inform users about suspicious activities, providing the opportunity for them or a trusted helper to take action. These services can also help recoup losses in the event of a successful scam. Stay in Touch with Aging Loved Ones. Social isolation makes seniors more vulnerable because they want to connect with people. Friends and family members can call, write, or visit and also encourage them to stay involved with friends, activities, volunteering, or a spiritual community. Get to KnowCaregivers. Seniors and those who care about them should keep a careful eye on hired caregivers to make sure they have their charge’s best interest in mind. Also, be aware of anyone new in the senior’s life—that person may be setting them up for later manipulation. Source: https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/ info-2021/prevent-elder-financial-exploitation.html Technology Tools Add Extra Protection Technology can help protect seniors from elder financial abuse. The following tools are just a few examples. EverSafe is a service that examines accounts for unusual activity across a person’s accounts. This activity goes above and beyond what each institution might do, potentially revealing patterns. Password managers provide a safe place to keep passwords, eliminating the need for sticky notes or paper lists that could be seen by visitors. Virtual private networks (VPNs) provide a layer of protection between a person’s devices and a public Wi-Fi connection. LifeLock, previously mentioned, is one identity theft protection service. Another is Aura. These services provide monitoring to prevent fraud, and services to help if someone becomes a victim. Credit card alerts can be sent to trusted friends or family members to help keep track of a senior’s spending. Thinking Ahead Roadmap (thinkingaheadroadmap.org) provides a detailed digital journey for seniors to take to keep their money safe as they age. QUICK TIP: Never sign a check and leave the amount payable blank.