Protecting Your Loved Ones from Elder Fraud
Designate trusted contacts. Connect with their financial institution for information on adding a trusted contact (or a view-only user) to their account - this is someone who can be contacted if there are questionable transactions taking place or if they can’t be reached. This is a safer alternative to a joint account which allows someone to withdraw funds directly.
Monitor accounts. Vigilance is easier with tech support. Set up online tools designed to detect suspicious transactions, fraud, and identity theft. Some programs will walk you through reporting and recouping any losses that have occurred.
Appoint financial power of attorney. If your loved one becomes incapacitated, it’s crucial they be financially safeguarded. Bypass the standard power-of-attorney form and enlist the help of a lawyer to customize the form according to their needs, whether it’s filing taxes or managing property. Free and low-cost options are available through Eldercare Locator.
Report abuse. If you suspect your loved one is being exploited, report it to your local Adult Protective Services agency (which may have a different name depending on where they live.). APS connects to social service programs advocating on behalf of older and disabled adults who need assistance. You can also report abuse to their local District Attorney’s office and request they prosecute the responsible party. If the fraud involved an online scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (for mail scams.)
Offer support. Victims of financial exploitation often experience deep shame or grief. Be patient as they process their emotions and be vocal in your support while you help navigate next steps. Proactive gestures - like running errands or planning family events - can minimize stress.
Create a game plan. Consider setting up regular family meetings to address budgeting, bill payments, or any lingering financial concerns moving forward. GreenPath Financial Wellness offers worksheets and guides that can help get you started.
Who We Are
As an active part of the community for 93 years, Neighborhood Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial organization serving the state of Texas with branch locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, and Tarrant counties. With assets topping $1 billion, Neighborhood Credit Union has a continuously growing membership of over 60,000. For more information, call (214) 748-9393 or visit our homepage.