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WEAAD 6.15.21

Around the world, the elderly population is growing at a substantially faster rate than that of younger demographics. This burgeoning population of aging consumers faces greater risk of fraud from scammers and those who seek to take advantage of them. June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This call to action aims to raise awareness of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Protecting older Americans who may feel vulnerable in today’s technology focused world, or deceived by fast-talking criminals who want to extort money from them, or who are otherwise marginalized is something we can all help address.

The best way to combat the epidemic of fraud against this population is by sharing information on how to avoid falling prey to scams, making sure available resources are known, and reporting elder abuse. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) will commemorate this day by sharing educational resources and tools to help protect you, and your loved ones from scams, because an informed consumer is an empowered consumer no matter their age.

Be vigilant, identify the signs of elder financial abuse:

  • Unusual account activity, such as large cash withdrawals or an increase in ATM transactions
  • The addition of a co-signer to the elder’s account
  • Unexpected interest from a third party in the elder’s financial affairs
  • Attempts by a third party to access the elder’s account(s) or make withdrawals
  • Request to notarize forms the elder does not understand when asked
  • Explanation of a deal that sounds “too good to be true,” or an online solicitation

Stay informed, be cognizant of the latest scam tactics and schemes:

  • Register here for monthly scam updates via our OCABR Consumer Newsletter
  • Visit the AARP ElderWatch for resources on scam identification and prevention
  • Remember that federal agencies (FBI, IRS, etc.) will never contact you via phone or email in order to request confidential information – anyone requesting this is a fraudster
  • Follow our Identity Theft Checklist to take extra precautions

Report suspicious financial activity by calling the Elder Abuse Hotline at (800) 922-2275 or completing their online form here. For general inquiries, call the Executive Office of Elderly Affairs hotline at (617) 727-7750, availably Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm.

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