When people think of elder abuse, they often think of the scars, bruises and bedsores they receive due to negligent nursing home staff. However, not every wound is physical.

Many older adults fall victim to financial abuse. According to a recent report, approximately 1 in 18 seniors get scammed every year, resulting in nearly $36 billion in personal losses.

Criminals know that many seniors are very wealthy. And they know the ones with deteriorating mental abilities can be easy to take advantage of.

Catching a scammer can be quite tricky. That’s because many can be friendly and charming to trick someone into giving them control of their finances.

Luckily, there are ways elderly adults and their loved ones to prevent this mistreatment from occurring.

What can seniors do to protect themselves?

Despite these pending threats, there are a lot older adults and their loved ones can do to protect their assets. Some of those methods include:

  • Shred receipts, bank statements and unused cards before tossing them out.
  • Lock up bank accounts, checkbooks and other confidential information.
  • Never give away personal information like Social Security numbers, phone numbers or other financial information to strangers.
  • Make purchases with checks and credit cards to maintain a paper trail.
  • Report anyone who is making abusive or threatening statements about handing over personal financial information.

Elderly loved ones deserve respect

If an older adult does fall victim to financial abuse, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Seniors and their families can put a stop to this form of mistreatment by contacting an attorney. They can evaluate their client’s claims, take their case to court and get them the justice they deserve.