East Ridge at Cutler Bay, a life plan community in Miami Dade County, has been serving area seniors for over 50 years. Sharing helpful information about elder abuse is part of the community’s mission to enrich seniors’ lives.
Recently, the community’s Foundation shared these tips about financial exploitation, one of the common forms of elder abuse, which was compiled from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
- Stay socially active since isolation increases the risk of becoming a victim.
- Develop relationships with advisors and professionals who handle your money. They can help detect changes in your activities that may signal a problem.
- Understand what you are signing in any document. Before you assign a power of attorney, understand the scope of the agreement and the authority you are giving to your agent.
- Be cautious of joint accounts. Both parties are equal owners of the account and both have equal access to funds.
- Document financial arrangements. By putting these in writing, you not only protect yourself; you also reduce the likelihood of legal proceedings.
- Ask for help. Financial matters can be confusing. Turn to your trusted advisors and family for help.
- Use direct deposit for checks.
- Don’t sign blank checks allowing someone else to fill in the amount.
- Don’t leave valuables in plain view.
- Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.
- Be aware of scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t give anyone your ATM PIN number. Cancel your card immediately if it is stolen or misplaced.
- Check bank statements carefully for unauthorized withdrawals.
Continue to read articles about fraud as scams can change frequently. Educating yourself is the first step in prevention.
If you have any questions about financial exploitation, please feel free to contact David A. Kremer, Director of the East Ridge at Cutler Bay Foundation, 305-238-2623.