Financial Elder Abuse

My 93-years-old aunt died last year. For a number of years leading up to her death, I visited her at home. Often I would check her mail box for mail, so I could save her a trip. Just as often, I found mail–a lot of it–from organizations asking for money to help the police, take care of the disadvantaged, the blind, the fallen heroes, etc. etc. etc. If you can think of a cause in need of dollars, she probably received mail from them.

And they were virtually all frauds. Virtually all of them.

Occasionally she would ask me to post her mail. As I walked out of the house with a handful of mail, I’d thumb through it. All or most of it would be self-addressed envelopes to these organizations. I would then call her son, who lived in another state, tell him what I had in hand. He’d ask me to look inside the envelopes. There would always be check written in the shaky hand of a 93 year old woman. And her son would tell me to rip the check up.

As well he should have.

You with aged parents, you who are on in years, be careful out there. Crooks abound in this great land of ours, and they have no qualms about taking your money. Be careful. Consult with others before you write that check. Call your CPA, your attorney, someone you know you can trust, and ask their advice before you throw your money down the deep dark well occupied by crooks.

Oh by the way. Here’s a good article with a long list of do’s and don’ts. Read it. 

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