Last modified: May 20, 2021
Understand how to protect yourself or an older adult in your life from financial exploitation. Anyone can fall victim. But people ages 60 or older, and disabled adults, are especially at risk.
A growing problem
Financial abuse of older adults—ages 60 and older—has become a growing problem in the U.S. as the population ages. We all grow older. As we do, it’s important to protect the financial assets we built through the years. Financial exploitation happens when someone’s assets are taken by a stranger, family member or friend for their own personal benefit.
Who is at risk?
Financial abuse can happen to anyone. In fact, 16% of U.S adults reported being the victim of fraud in a
Risk factors that can make someone more vulnerable to financial abuse include memory loss and cognitive decline. Older adults can be at risk when these health issues first start—even before they’re diagnosed. Social isolation and undue influence (from a family member who controls part of your life) can also increase the likelihood of financial abuse.
Common scams that affect older adults
- An impersonator (including government imposter scams, romance scams and grandchild impersonators).
- Sweepstakes, prizes and lotteries.
- Tech support scams.
Scammers often call older adults on the phone to defraud them. Consumers ages 80 and older reported the highest median losses to the FTC in 2019.
Reported phone scams resulted in a median loss of $3,500 for consumers ages 80 and older.
How to prevent financial exploitation
Most people think, “that will never happen to me.” But we all age. And it’s tough to know how it will affect us and those around us. Health issues and cognitive decline can happen to anyone. Learn what
Take action: Name a trusted contact person
Make it hard for fraudsters to steal from you or your loved ones. Name a trusted contact person to help us respond quickly if we suspect a problem. Download the trusted contact form.
What is a trusted contact?
Learn more about why Thrivent is asking you for a trusted contact
FINRA, SEC and NASAA have teamed up to release a promotional video and fact sheet to explain the importance of naming a trusted contact. See links below.
- Discuss possible red flags that might indicate you’re being financially exploited.
- Confirm your health status if we suspect a physical or cognitive health issue.
- Confirm your current contact information if we’re unable to reach you after repeated attempts.
- Confirm the identity of any legal guardian, executor, trustee or holder of a power of attorney.
- Address other limited circumstances, when permitted by law.
What to do if financial exploitation happens
Alert Thrivent and law enforcement to suspected or known financial exploitation. The following links include a fraud and identify theft resolution checklist.