Scammers often target the elderly at tax time.
As a greater percentage of Americans enter retirement financial abuse of the elderly is on the increase but it can be reduced with some careful oversight. In the weeks surrounding tax day, scammers make calls pretending to be IRS agents looking for money that is owned and often target elderly people who might be more easily confused.
The IRS never calls individuals to demand immediate payments and always makes written contact first.
Recently, the Washington Post offered three simple steps about how to help prevent this type of elder abuse from happening to the people that you know in "When you look in on that senior, see about their financial security, too."
The steps are:
- Let the elderly person know you are available to help them understand financial issues and encourage them to come to you for the help. Do not be pushy and seek to take over their finances, just be available for help.
- Check-in regularly and ask questions about their financial well-being.
- Learn for yourself what kinds of financial scams are currently being used to target the elderly and other consumers. The Federal Trade Commission maintains a list of scams on its website as do many state attorney general offices.
Contact a law enforcement official or an elder law attorney should you suspect an elderly person is the victim of financial abuse.
Reference: Washington Post (April 13, 2016) "When you look in on that senior, see about their financial security, too."