Recognize. React. Report. Caregivers help protect against financial exploitation

July 17, 2020

Learn how to defend the person you are caring for from potential financial scams.

 

When you are caring for someone, you have a responsibility to protect their interests. To shield them from financial fraud, you can assist in monitoring their financials and account activity. And in the case that they are targeted, you can work with the authorities and other entities to report their case.

 

Recognize: Your important role

As a financial caregiver, you have great responsibilities, whether you are actively managing accounts or just keeping a watchful eye.

The financial caregiver’s relationship often evolves as needs change:

  • Initially, responsibilities may include reviewing accounts or giving assistance with everyday financial matters. 
  • Responsibilities may increase if the person you are helping becomes ill or injured or has trouble managing money.
     

You are an important line of defense. As a trusted caregiver, you have a duty to act in the person’s best interest and can help detect potential fraud!

 

React: Build your knowledge and defenses

Be proactive:

  • Have periodic and open conversations about financial matters with the person you are helping.
  • Assist in setting up account alerts.
  • Help organize and store important documents in a safe but easily accessible location.
  • Carefully consider who has access to the person’s accounts.
  • Consider setting up a legal document clearly defining your duties, such as a Power of Attorney or Guardianship, and understand the responsibilities associated with that role.
  • Understand the risks of sharing access to accounts (joint ownership, sharing login credentials and sharing credit/debit cards can put both parties at risk and make it easier to be victimized).
  • Learn about common financial exploitation schemes and ploys.
  • Review options with financial institutions to help protect the person’s accounts.
     

Avoid financial exploitation:

  • If a previously uninvolved relative, caregiver or friend begins conducting financial transactions.
  • If there are abrupt changes in financial documents, such as a new power of attorney, a change to a joint account or a change in beneficiaries.
  • If there are transaction pattern changes, such as gaps in check numbers, increases in cash withdrawals, atypical ATM withdrawals or new spending patterns.
  • If there are uncharacteristic non-sufficient funds activity, overdrafts or lapses in bill payments.
  • If there are uncharacteristic requests to wire or send money.

 

Report: Who to contact

  • The police: Request a copy of the police report and case number.
  • U.S. Bank Fraud Liaison Center at 877-595-6256 (for U.S. Bank accounts).
  • Any of the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, to place a “fraud alert” on your credit file.
  • Your bank and/or credit card company.
  • Adult Protective Services (county or state).
  • The Federal Trade Commission's identity theft website or by calling 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).
  • You can also find contact information at eldercare.gov or by calling 800-677-1116.

 

Learn more about how to protect against financial fraud.

Related content

5 tips for parents opening a bank account for kids

These small home improvement projects offer big returns on investment

How to prevent fraud

How to spot an online scam

What is financial fraud?

Reviewing your beneficiaries: A 5-step guide

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Finding the right home loan for you

5 financial goals for the new year

How to financially prepare for pet costs

The lowdown on 6 myths about buying a home

10 ways to increase your home’s curb appeal

Checklist: financial recovery after a natural disaster

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

What’s the difference between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Changes in credit reporting and what it means for homebuyers

3 signs it’s time for your business to switch banks

Common small business banking questions, answered

3 tips for saving money when moving to a new home

5 ways to maximize your garage sale profits 

Pros and cons of a personal line credit

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

Mobile banking tips for smarter and safer online banking

What is Medicare? Understanding your coverage options

Retirement plan options for the self-employed

Is a Health Savings Account missing from your retirement plan?

How much life insurance do I need?

Fight the battle against payments fraud

What corporate treasurers need to know about Virtual Account Management

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

How to choose the right custodian for your managed assets

Housing market trends and relocation impact

Does your side business need a separate bank account?

5 steps to take before transitioning your business

Make your business legit

How to improve your business network security

Protecting elderly parents’ finances: 6 steps to follow when managing their money

Planning self-care moments that matter (and how to finance them)

How to expand your business: Does a new location make sense?

Is raising backyard chickens a good idea financially?

7 steps to prepare for the high cost of child care

What are conforming loan limits and why are they increasing

How to save for a wedding

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

Multiple accounts can make it easier to follow a monthly budget

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

How to test new business ideas

How to keep your assets safe

3 types of insurance you shouldn’t ignore

Is your employer long term disability insurance enough?

8 steps to choosing a health insurance plan

7 things to know about long-term care insurance

5 unexpected retirement expenses

Year-end financial checklist

Comparing term vs. permanent life insurance

Don’t underestimate the importance of balancing your checking account

Protecting cash balances with sweep vehicles

What you need to know as the executor of an estate

How do I prequalify for a mortgage?

Can you take advantage of the dead equity in your home?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

Home equity: Small ways to improve the value of your home

Is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) right for you?

8 steps to take before you buy a home

Webinar: Mortgage basics: 3 Key steps in the homebuying process

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Buying or renting – What’s right for you?

How to use your home equity to finance home improvements

Webinar: Mortgage basics: What is refinancing, and is it right for you?

Should you get a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit?

5 things to avoid that can devalue your home

6 questions to ask before buying a new home

What is refinancing a mortgage?

What is an escrow account? Do I have one?

Quiz: How prepared are you to buy a home?

10 questions to ask when hiring a contractor

What to know when buying a home with your significant other

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How does your credit score impact the homebuying experience?

What is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and what can it be used for?

Dear Money Mentor: When should I refinance a mortgage?

Building a dream home that fits your life

Beyond the mortgage: Other costs for homeowners

How I did it: Bought my dream home using equity

Get more home for your money with these tips

Saving for a down payment: Where should I keep my money?

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

How I did it: Built living spaces to support my family

Managing the impacts of appraisal gaps in a hot housing market

Is it the right time to refinance your mortgage?

Spring cleaning checklist for your home: 5 budget-boosting tasks

Overcoming high interest rates: Getting your homeownership goals back on track

Money Moments: How to finance a home addition

Home buying myths: Realities of owning a home

House Hacks: How buying an investment property worked as my first home

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

10 uses for a home equity loan

Know your debt-to-income ratio

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

Which is better: Combining bank accounts before marriage — or after?

Save time and money with automatic bill pay

Money Moments: 3 smart financial strategies when caring for aging parents

Is it time to get a shared bank account with your partner?

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

Common unexpected expenses and three ways to pay for them

Checking and savings smarts: Make your accounts work harder for you

9 simple ways to save

Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

Money muling 101: Recognizing and avoiding this increasingly common scam

How to avoid student loan scams

From LLC to S-corp: Choosing a small business entity

Is online banking safe?

How-to guide: What to do if your identity is stolen

8 tips and tricks for creating and remembering your PIN

Recognize. React. Report. Caregivers can help protect against financial exploitation

Recognize. React. Report. Don't fall victim to financial exploitation

5 tips for seniors to stay a step ahead of schemers

Webinar: U.S. Bank asks: Are you safe from fraud?

Learn to spot and protect yourself from common student scams

Fraud prevention checklist

4 tips for protecting your business against Coronavirus-related scams

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Prequalification or pre-approval – What do I need?

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

You can take these 18 budgeting tips straight to the bank

How I did it: Learned to budget as a single mom

4 ways to outsmart your smart device

Buying a home Q&A: What made three homeowners fall in love with their new home

What types of agency accounts are available for investors?

The connection between your health and financial well-being

Understanding guardianship and power of attorney in banking

What you need to know about renting

What’s in your emergency fund?

Dear Money Mentor: How do I pick a savings or checking account?

Personal finance for teens can empower your child

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

Key milestone ages as you near and start retirement

How to talk about money with your family

How to protect your digital assets in your estate plan

Money Moments: Tips for selling your home

How I did it: My house remodel

Webinar: How to stay safe from cyberfraud

First-timer’s guide to savings account alternatives

Does your savings plan match your lifestyle?

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Myths vs. facts about savings account interest rates

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Home renovation

How you can prevent identity theft

Post-pandemic fraud prevention lessons for local governments

Preparing for homeownership: A guide for LGBTQ+ homebuyers

What you need to know about identity theft

Checklist: 6 to-dos for after a move

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.