If you are responsible for the well-being of an elderly person, now is a good time to update safety measures aimed at increasing protection against scams and identity theft.
Guardians and Conservators: Take Extra Precaution
Law practices specializing in eldercare issues, such as guardianships and conservatorships, will want to alert clients about the rapid spread of scams adding to the challenges of coping with life in 2020. As AARP reports:
Coronavirus scams are spreading nearly as fast as the virus itself. As of Sept. 20, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had logged more than 204,000 consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments, 68 percent of them involving fraud or identity theft. Victims have reported losing $143.9 million, with a median loss of $300.
Fraudsters are using the full suite of scam tools — phishing emails and texts, bogus social media posts, robocalls, impostor schemes and more — and closely following the headlines, adapting their messages and tactics as new medical and economic issues arise.
Fraud Against The Elderly
Common types of fraud against the elderly involve identity theft and phishing scams. Sadly, the elderly are frequent victims of these crimes. Having come of age in a different era, it can be difficult for many elderly people to understand that it’s not “rude” to refrain from answering every call or email they receive.
Legal Match sums up key reasons that make the elderly especially vulnerable to scams of all kinds:
The elderly are common targets for identity theft for several reasons. First, many of them have built up considerable amounts of funds and assets over the span of their lives. Also, many elderly persons have conditions such as dementia which render them unable to make sound financial decisions. Finally, many elderly citizens are unfamiliar with the intricacies of modern credit arrangements. Many of them grew up in a different cultural environment that honored word-of-mouth transactions.
Court-Appointed Guardians or Conservators: Extra Caution Needed
While everyone should care about protecting the vulnerable from fraud crimes, court-appointed guardians (in some states referred to as conservators) have extra responsibilities of care and diligence. After all, they are court-appointed! In fact, the responsibilities are so great, that prior to being appointed, they are required, by the court, to secure a surety bond, referred to as a guardianship or conservator bond.
The purpose of this bond is to protect the person being placed under the care of the guardian or conservator. Obtaining the bond demonstrates that the court-appointed guardian is prepared for their fiduciary obligations—acting in good faith in accordance with state regulations, including careful protection and management of money and property.
Colonial Surety Company is a leading provider of conservator bonds and guardianship bonds. These bonds protect against covered thefts or misappropriation by a conservator or guardian. Our I-Bonds® (aka instant, online surety bonds) can be instantly quoted, purchased, printed, and e-filed at your convenience using your desktop, tablet or mobile device.
Good To Know: Tips for Protecting the Elderly from Fraud
If you are charged with protecting an elderly person, make sure you include scam prevention on your to-do list. Here are some tips to help prevent scams against the elderly—and protect their assets:
- Every quarter, review credit reports—look for signs of tampering.
- Arrange for removal from unnecessary mailing lists and e-distributions.
- Report suspected cases immediately to the police.
- Provide consistent reminders about not answering calls from unknown numbers and not giving out birth date, social security or contact information.
Colonial Is The Easy Choice!
With over 20 years of experience innovating our direct to consumer approach, Colonial Surety Company enables conservators and guardians to efficiently obtain the bonds needed to fulfill their legal responsibilities. Colonial’s guardianship or conservator bonds protect against covered thefts or misappropriations by a guardian or conservator.
At Colonial Surety Company, the steps are easy: get your quote online, fill out the information requested, and enter in your payment method. You can then print or e-you’re your bond right away! Get a Guardianship or Conservator Bond Here!