If you have elderly parents in West Virginia, you probably worry about their safety from time to time. Along with their physical well-being, you may also have concerns that they’ll fall victim to a financial scam, which could deplete them of their life savings. AARP offers the following advice in this case, which provides you the tools to safeguard your parents’ assets.
Have a frank discussion
While it may be tempting to intervene and subsequently drop the issue, it’s important you speak frankly with your parents. Explain to them that what they thought was a valid experience (such as winning a contest) was in deed fraudulent. While it may seem like a hard conversation to have, it may prevent them from acting on erroneous claims in the future. Whatever you do, refrain from shaming your parents for their actions or placing blame.
Make sure phone numbers are unlisted
In terms of practical prevention, make sure your parents’ number is unlisted. You can also put their names on an opt-out list, which will prevent telemarketers and others from contacting them through the mail or on the phone. If your parent receives a correspondence that seems fraudulent to you, you can contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, who is responsible for reviewing potential frauds and pursuing the sender if necessary.
Check credit reports
Your parents may be victims of fraud and not even know it. Checking their credit report on a yearly basis is a good idea in this case, as it will show you any errors or fraudulent accounts. If you do notice anything odd, be sure to contact the credit reporting bureau right away. They can help you remove the erroneous listing to preserve your parents’ finances.