2 Services That Protect Grandma From Money-Stealing Scams

Photo (cc) by pedrosimoes7

Grandma and Grandpa are often the unfortunate targets of con artists. But some services are helping protect seniors from becoming the next victim of elder fraud.

More than 25 percent of people who fall victim to financial scams are older than 60, NPR says. Seniors’ trusting nature, likeliness to have a nest egg, lack of knowledge about how to report a potential fraud, or even a prideful unwillingness to report a con, makes them attractive to scammers, according to the FBI.

In an effort to make financial exploitation of elders more difficult to pull off, True Link and EverSafe – two separate services – are available to consumers, NPR says.

  • More financial control. For about $10 a month, True Link issues customized Visa prepaid debit cards to seniors. The cards can be tailored to block certain charges, like specific merchants, charities, wire transfers or sweepstakes entries. Family members will receive alerts if suspicious activity is detected.
  • Identify fishy financial transactions. EverSafe is a service that scans seniors’ financial accounts, including banking, credit cards and investments, on a daily basis to help identify questionable activity – like unusual cash withdrawals, changes in spending patterns and missing deposits – that could indicate fraud, according to the EverSafe site. “If something looks fishy, the older adult — and his or her designated family members — are notified,” NPR says. EverSafe starts at $4.99 per month.

These two services are designed to involve both the senior and their family members in an effort to thwart financial fraud.

The AARP tries to stay abreast of the latest elder scams. Check out its Fraud Watch Network page for the latest reported scams.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, click here for information on how to report it. You can also click here for state-by-state information on how to report elder fraud.

Have scammers preyed on you or a family member? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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