Beware of Granny Scams. Financial Elder Abuse Runs Rampant.

Financial scams aren't new. Sadly, however, our elders are increasingly the targets of these financial scams. A MetLife analysis revealed that older victims of financial fraud lose 2.9 billion annually. According to an article in the Los Angeles Japanese Daily Times, it doesn't take Alzheimer's or dementia to make a senior citizen more prone to financial elder abuse. Studies have proven that as we age, we suffer from a mild form of cognitive impairment. Our financial literacy actually declines as we get older, whether we realize it's happening or not.

Use an Advanced Background Check on Caregivers and "Friends"

So, how can you protect yourself or your loved ones from scams and deceitful people that prey on older men and women? One solution is to hire a private investigator to do an advanced background check on caregivers and new ?friends? that crop up in your loved one's life. The least likely suspects are often the most likely suspects after all. For example, our industry experience has shown us the terrible reality that many thieves intentionally befriend elderly people in church, because it is assumed that church-goers are trustworthy. We can do a background check on anyone who could be a potential threat. An advanced background check by an experienced private investigator is significantly more effective than any cursory background checks that online background check companies provide.

Surveillance Services Can Help You Keep an Eye on What's Really Going On

We can also employ surveillance services to check up on the activities of caregivers and people who have suddenly grown close to your elderly family member. Maybe the gardener who tended your mother's lawn for many years begins coming in to tidy up, take your mom grocery shopping, and help her write out a check for her groceries. Maybe a house cleaner learns where the checkbook is kept, along with other important bank account and sensitive information. Of course, we want to trust people, but we also want to make sure our loved ones aren't being ripped off.

A professional private investigator can provide asset search services, which are an effective means of getting a more accurate financial picture. This can help you to see if there are new loans, significant fund depletion, recent credit card acquisitions and other signs that might indicate financial elder abuse. Under the right circumstances, we can access bank accounts to see if money is being drained. We can also see whether new lines of credit have been opened in your loved one's name.

Hopefully, doing surveillance, background checks, and/or an asset search will show that everything is alright, your elderly parents? new friends and caregivers are trustworthy, and you can move forward with peace of mind. However, if we do find cause for concern, at least you will be armed with the information to do something about it before it's too late.

Worried that your loved one might be the victim of a Granny Scam? Concerned about the potential for elder abuse? Contact Linked Investigations for a free consultation. Owner, Mike Garroutte, has worked as a licensed California Private Investigator for more than 30 years. Our fees are competitive and we can work within your budget to get the information you need. Give us a call: 877-464-5374 or email us at

Published on: 
September 28, 2014
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