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Concerned about financial scams? Here’s your guide

Rose Conlon/Marketplace

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Billions of dollars are lost to financial scams every year, and seniors are particularly at risk. One widely cited study found that older Americans lose $36 billion a year to elder financial abuse  — this includes exploitation, fraud and trust abuse.

As part of “Brains and Losses”, Marketplace’s investigative series on age-associated financial vulnerability, we’ve created a tip sheet on how best to protect yourself and your loved ones from scammers.

The basics

Preventative measures

  1. General: This type lets a designated person control certain parts of your finances. If you become incapacitated in any way, the power of attorney ends.
  2. Durable: This power of attorney remains in effect if you become incapacitated.
  3. Springing: This power of attorney is triggered when a life event, like the onset of dementia, an accident or disease, leaves you mentally diminished or incapacitated. Some states do not allow springing power of attorney.

Responding to a scam

For resources to help you deal with financial scams and to read more about the “Brains and Losses” series, continue here.

“Brains and Losses” was made possible by Marketplace’s generous supporters, including the Park Foundation.


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