Protecting Older Adults from Fraud & Scams

Financial Abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse for our older population. At UBI, we strive to protect you and your money every day. The American Bankers Association has provided these facts about financial abuse in our elderly population:
  • An estimated 1 in 5 senior citizens will become victim of financial abuse.
  • Average losses due to fraud are around $120,000 per person.
  • Since 2021, financial fraud involving the elderly has increased by 85% each year.
  • Romance, Lottery, IRS/Government Impersonation, Grandchild Impersonation, Invest Scams and Tech Support Scams remain the top scam types faced by the older population, 

Tips to Safeguard Your Finances

  • Never give out banking information to someone you do not know.
  • Never give access of your phone or computer to someone you do not know.
  • Never trust anyone that advises you to lie or make up a story to tell your bank or family members if they ask you about a transaction.
  • Never listen to anyone who tells you to deposit money into a cryptocurrency (BITCOIN) ATM to "keep your money safe". Once the funds are deposited, they are gone!
  • Gift cards should only be used for gifts. If someone asks you to use a gift card to "keep your money safe" or pay a fee, it is a scam. 

Signs Indicating Your Loved One Could Be Experiencing Financial Fraud

  • Funds are missing without any indication of where they went. Look for large even-dollar transactions at retails stores that indicate gift card purchases or large cash withdrawals from banks or ATMs.
  • Your loved one's attitude or demeanor has changed and they aren't themselves. They may seem secluded or depressed or might seem anxious or fearful.
  • Your loved one has lost the ability to pay for the necessities that they previously were able to afford such as food, housing or medicine. 
Elder Financial Fraud is highly under-reported. It is important to recognize it when it occurs and report the incident to the proper authorities. Below you will find a list of agencies and institutions that you may contact to report suspected fraud.

Report Elder Financial Fraud to the Following Agencies and Institutions

  • Report all fraud to local law enforcement.
  • Report fraud incidents to your bank or other financial institutions.
  • Report Elder Fraud or Abuse to Iowa Department of Human Services at (800)362-2178 or the Iowa Attorney General's Office at (800)777-4590.
  • Consider contacting the AARP Fraud Watch Network at (877)908-3360. They will take a report as well as provide help and support.