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From the President's Office - Elderly Scams and What We Can Do to Prevent Them

From when were small children, we were always protected from various threats and outside influences from our parents. Their sage advice may have always seemed superfluous at the time but usually proved right repeatedly. Now that we have grown up ourselves and have put our parent’s advice to good use over the years, it is only fair that we can return the favor. As our parents and grandparents enjoy their retirements, it is our obligation to make sure that they live out their golden years with as little worry as possible. However, today’s seniors are now prime targets for financial abuse. This abuse can range from taking property or assets, to something as simple as forging a signature on a blank check. There are more advanced means of taking advantage of our elders such as scams, cons and telemarketing. Most of the abuse occurs from a trusted family member or someone close to the situation. There may even be people in your life that have had elder abuse affect them, or know someone who had been conned, or have been convinced to send money to a Nigerian Prince with the promise of massive wealth.

When you can wrap your head around the fact that people over 50 years old control 70% of the nation’s wealth, you can understand how they can become easy targets. As criminals are becoming increasingly clever, it could be a crime of opportunity or something more sinister like stealing from a loved one to fuel a bad habit. Whatever the case may be, the best defense is a good offense and education on the topic. We can teach them to never give out personal information over the phone or internet, especially social security numbers and date of birth, and be wary of any social worker or caregiver that seems slightly too interested in their financial wellbeing when they should be focused on their health. At the end of the day, we owe it to our parents, grandparents and loved ones to lend a watchful eye over them and educate them the best we can to help prevent them from being a victim of elder abuse. To find out more information or to learn how to report elder abuse, please visit http://www.mass.gov/elders/service-orgs-advocates/protective-services-program.html for more details.

 

Just a friendly reminder that Millbury National Bank will never ask you to verify account or debit card information via text message or e-mail. If you have any further questions, please contact Ashley Marcum at amarcum@mnbonline.com or Tabitha Castonguay at tcastonguay@mnbonline.com. Thank you! 

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