Be wary of your elders’ new friends.
Just as your parents wanted to know who you hung out with in high school, you should care to know who your loved ones’ friends are today. (Remind them it’s because you love them!) Be alert to odd activity with family, too. “We call it the Bad Report Card Syndrome,” says Long. “In 2/3 of cases of elder fraud, the responsible parties are 3 Fs and a C: Friends, Family, Fiduciaries, and Caregivers.” Most people in these roles are the good guys, but it’s smart to keep an eye out.
Talk to a pro.
If you’re seeing any warning signs, Long suggests asking your loved one if you can join them in meeting with their financial advisor. “The advisor will be happy to have this conversation,” says Long. “And it’s best to have it with parents and their children.”
The advisor will likely ask for a trusted point of contact to call in case of emergency, and they may go over other parts of your parents’ estate plans, such as financial power of attorney and who they want to be executor of their will.
See something? Say something.
Many older adults are afraid to speak up about abuse, so you may need to do it for them. If you think a loved one is being targeted, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website and click on your state to find local agencies that can assist you. If the situation is dangerous, call 911 or the local police right away.