Protecting yourself, loved ones from elder financial abuse

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  October is Fraud and Financial Awareness Month and the Tennessee Department of Human Service’s Adult Protective Services is warning families to watch out for signs that your loved one has fallen victim.

Some of the key red flags include sudden changes in the person’s financial condition and financial activity the person couldn’t have accomplished like large withdrawals from their bank account.

Also pay close attention to changes like no food in the home or utilities being cut off.

The victims are typically unaware of what’s happening to the finances so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for unpaid bills.

If you do believe your loved one has been taken advantage of DHS recommended you contact local police, the Tennessee Consumer Affairs division and the Federal Trade Commission.

So how do you protect yourself or a loved one?

If you receive a phone call, be sure to get the person’s name, business name, a phone number and address. You can use that information to check up on the company and make sure it’s legit.

A quick internet search of the person or circumstances can often times quickly give you feedback saving you time and money.

Experts said don’t be afraid to ask the experts questions. The Better Business Bureau, the state Attorney General and local police are there to help you.

But remember, if your gut is telling you you’re dealing with a scam, more than likely you’re right.