Scammers target anyone they think they can get some money out of and, sadly, that means that vulnerable adults seem like easy targets for those with malicious intentions.
With vulnerable people often being in financially precarious positions on fixed incomes or living off limited savings and equity, even relatively minor financial scams can have disproportionate impact on their lives.
So how can those who often deal with vulnerable adults help to protect them from financial abuse?
The Role of Carers in Preventing Financial Abuse
Carers, whether professionals or family members taking a full-time or long term carer role, can do a lot to both protect vulnerable people from scams, and to assist in finding and prosecuting those who perpetrate scams.
To help protect vulnerable people, carers can, quite simply, take an active interest in the life and wellbeing of those they are responsible for. Keeping abreast of what is going on in a vulnerable person’s life can often be enough to warn a carer that an individual has been targeted by a scam, allowing the carer to help them to avoid it and potentially even to catch the individual.
A sad truth is that, occasionally, carers and others in positions of authority and responsibility in dealing with vulnerable people can become the abusers. To avoid this, make sure when you employ a carer to carry out a basic DBS check from a care-focused intermediary such as http://www.carecheck.co.uk/basic-dbs-checks/.
Educating Carers, Family Members and Vulnerable People
According to Age UK, more than half of people over 65 believe they have been targeted by fraudsters, with over 70% of those who responded having lost money. Education is the best way to bring this number down and keep vulnerable people safe, because if carers as well as the individuals keep up to date on common scams, warning signs, and even basic internet safety and personal information privacy, potential scams can be identified early and be avoided or stopped.
There is no way to prevent scammers from targeting vulnerable people, so we need everyone involved in a vulnerable adult’s life – from the individual, to family, to carers – to be knowledgeable about scams to help prevent them.