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Adult Abuse Awareness Information

 


Seniors May Be More Susceptible to Financial Exploitation

 

Social isolation, loneliness, bereavement, alcohol or drug abuse, dependence on others, mental illness or depression are some of the conditions that can make senior citizens susceptible to exploitation and scams.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Day, and a time to highlight the issue of financial exploitation of seniors. While some seniors only need to be reminded of the warning signs, others may need caregivers or loved ones to spot threats.

 A local police sergeant said one of the primary things people should remember is not to give out their personal information to anyone making unsolicited phone calls or sending unsolicited emails or letters. People should never disclose their personal information unless they initiated the transaction. “Don’t give out anything related to your banking. Your banking institutions know who you are. They would never call you asking you for personal information.”

Scams are wide-ranging and may seem harmless to the unwary, but people should be aware of the schemes that may be used to defraud people. There are many types of scams. There are credit card-related, magazine sales, investment fraud, overpayment, work-at-home, vacation travel, Nigerian money, foreign lottery, pyramid, scholarships, charities scams, and many others. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Crime Prevention Council, many of the scams will involve high-pressure tactics that should raise suspicion.

 Seniors often report the scam to police soon after they realized what happened. Other times, family members or caregivers are the first to notice the exploitation. Seniors should turn to someone who has their best interests at heart. 

If you are a caregiver and notice the following common financial concerns for those you care for, contact Adult Protective Services at 540.942.6648 or after hours at 1.800.552.7096:

  • There seems to be trouble paying bills; loans/gifts are more than can be afforded

  • There seems to be less confidence making big financial decisions alone; someone else seems to be making financial decisions that are not understood

  • Others are pressuring them to give them money

  • People are saying a lottery or something similar has been won

  • Someone is accessing accounts or money seems to be missing

A local police sergeant said people should remember that if it is too good to be true, it is not. “If you did not ask for information, you shouldn’t even be talking to these people.”  

 


 

Weapons of Fraud

This video takes you inside the tactics that con artists use to defraud their victims. Meet victims who've lost their life savings and the con artists who steal them.

 

 


Become a Volunteer with the Money Management Program

Become a Volunteer

Did you know that there are low income seniors and persons with disabilities right in your own community that need your help to remain independent? Some of these seniors have been financially exploited by family and friends. If you could volunteer a few hours of time each month, you could enable them to remain independent and in their own homes.

This essential services uses trained volunteers to help low-income older adults and people with disabilities manage their daily finances and remain in their communities. Some of these vulnerable individuals may have had their electricity turned off or are facing eviction, even though enough money was in their bank account to make the necessary payments. Others have been exploited financially by family and friends.

Currently the Volunteer Money Management Program, a partnership of volunteers and the Adult Services unit at Shenandoah Valley Social Services, is looking for open-minded, compassionate, and patient volunteers with good budgeting, organizational, and support skills to help manage the finances of older or disabled low-income individuals who desperately need assistance.

The Money Management Program has the following volunteer positions available now:
• REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE is appointed by a government agency to manage the government benefits of a person incapable of managing his/her own financial affairs. The Representative Payee spends the money in the beneficiary’s best interest by writing and signing checks for the beneficiary’s expenditures.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact VMMP at 540.942.6403 or 540.943.6650

Volunteer MMP Brochure