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I am loathe for any scam artist, but someone who takes advantage of the aged is particularly repugnant.

Bloomberg published an article today about how crooks are pilfering upwards of $37 Billion a year from America’s Elderly.

It is so important to protect yourself when making any kind of significant financial decision. How you may ask? Here are some tips for avoiding getting ripped off:

1. Never make a significant financial decision alone. Whether it’s a spouse, a child, a friend or a trusted aid, you should always consult with someone you trust to help you determine if you’re getting involved with something fishy.

2. Make sure you have your legal house in order. Do you have financial power-of-attorney (PoA) established with someone you trust? You should. And you should review it at least once per year to ensure it’s the optimal person — immediately if your PoA has moved, become incapacitated or passed away.

3. If something sounds too good to be true, it almost assuredly is. Don’t get caught up in the moment if you’re being offered anything which feels like you won the lottery. If it’s for real, the opportunity will be there in a day, or even better, a week. Take the time to cool off, and see Tip #1 above before you make a decision.

4. Don’t assume family always has your best interests at heart. It’s beyond sad, but as you’ll read in the linked article below, “The dirty little secret about elder exploitation is that almost 60% of cases involve a perpetrator who is a family member, according to a 2014 study”. If a family member is pressuring you to make a financial decision, it’s worth checking in with someone else you trust — perhaps an elder law attorney — to make sure it’s a good idea.

Here’s a link to the Bloomberg article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-03/america-s-elderly-are-losing-37-billion-a-year-to-fraud