In this age of burgeoning technology, your elder parents might not recognize an internet or phone scam when they see one. When they fall victim to these scams, it puts their financial, emotional and physical safety at risk. So, what can you do to protect them from losing their assets?

Identifying scams

Scammers will use any means necessary to steal from your loved ones. They may employ tactics such as internet fraud, phone scams and identity theft. When discussing estate plans with your parents, be sure you address how to identify these potential scams. A scam could look like any of the following:

  • Supposed family members asking for money over the phone
  • Unrecognizable emails from companies with overdue payment notifications
  • Telemarketers asking for social security numbers
  • Door-to-door salespeople promoting “free” services or selling prepackaged estate documents

Getting your parents to understand the length that a scammer will go to steal their assets is crucial. They may not realize the scope of a scammer’s abilities, and it’s important that you always remind them.

Communication is key

Be open and honest with your parents throughout the estate planning process, and ask them to give you the same courtesy.

In your discussions, give your parents ideas of how they can deal with potential scams that may come their way. Remind them that they should never give out personal information like credit card numbers or social security numbers, especially to companies or people they don’t remember having connections to.

In addition, any request for money — whether it’s through the mail, email or phone call — can be verified by you if your parents are unsure of what they should do.

Seek professional help

Estate planning can be a complex process. Be wary of websites that offer do-it-yourself wills or other shortcut methods of estate planning. Instead, you can turn to an attorney who has experience in estate planning. Doing so can ensure that your parents and their assets are in good hands.

Estate planning should save your family from stress, not cause it. Learning how to identify scams can help you ensure the safety and security of your parents’ futures. The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo is here to help protect the interests of your loved ones.