Your elderly parent may still live independently, but perhaps you are starting to see worrisome signs, such as bills from television shopping companies and other evidence of frivolous spending. He or she may call you worried that the Internal Revenue Service is issuing an arrest warrant for unpaid taxes or that the power company is going to shut off the utilities due to nonpayment. Many Georgia senior citizens are vulnerable to scams and other forms of financial abuse. 

Scammers frequently target elderly people, states the National Adult Protective Services Association. Every year, about one out of every 20 seniors across the country are victimized financially. Your parent may have made wise financial decisions when he or she was younger, but age-related cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can impair judgment and increase fear – making seniors ideal targets for unscrupulous people. 

You may already know about the common scams currently circulating across the country, such as fraudulent IRS and utility company calls, false sweepstakes winnings and computer viruses. These scams prey on elderly people’s tendency to be naïve about technology or sophisticated intimidation tactics, and always demand some form of immediate payment. How can you prevent your loved one from being victimized? If your parent is still able to make informed decisions, you may consider talking to him or her about granting you power of attorney, which enables you to make financial decisions on your parent’s behalf. If your parent is already cognitively impaired, you may wish to seek a guardianship from the court. 

These issues are often complex and emotional. Therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.