Remember to also look out for those friends or family whom may not be internet savvy. The following warning signs provide additional indicators to look for if you know or care for an older adult, which may point to victims of financial abuse:
- A caregiver will not allow others access to the senior.
- The senior suddenly appears confused, unkempt, and afraid.
- There are piled up sweepstakes mailings, magazine subscriptions, or "free gifts," which means they may be on "sucker lists."
- There are unusual recent changes in the person's accounts, including atypical withdrawals, new person(s) added, or sudden use of a senior's ATM or credit card.
- Utility, rent, mortgage, medical, or other essential bills are unpaid despite adequate income.
Adult Protect Services
Every state operates an Adult Protect Services (APS) program, which is responsible for receiving and investigating reports of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and in most states, the abuse of younger adults with severe disabilities.
APS is the "911" for elder abuse. Anyone who suspects elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation should make a report. The reporter's identity is protected. APS services are confidential, so the reporter may not be able to learn the outcome of the case.
APS respects the right of older persons to make their own decisions and to live their lives on their own terms. In cases of cognitive impairment, however, APS will take steps to protect the older person to the degree possible.