Sabtu, 06 April 2013

Keeping your bank account safe from fraud

Financial exploitation of the elderly is a growing problem (National Center on elder abuse), including cases where money was stolen directly from the bank account of an old man. The research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that 2 million people in the United States have had money stolen from their bank accounts last year. The average amount lost was $ 1,200.

Often we think that fraud is committed by people who don’t know that access to our personal information. While this may be true for the elderly the chance is greater that a family member or caregiver is one that takes advantage of them financially. An investigation by security services agencies adults has found that the most common financial addict was a son or a daughter, for 33% of reported cases of tax exploitation of seniors 60 years or older.

Red flags for financial abuse for the elderly, as reported by the National Association for Professional Geriatric Care managers, include:

Who is responsible for paying bills for seniors, but the Bills have not been paid and there aren’t enough resources to pay
Unexplained money missing from the senior accounts;
Family member/caregiver to withdraw large sums of money from accounts;
Someone taking money under false pretenses;
Elders who are forced to make property transfers or transfers that have been completed through lies or deceptions.
Fraudulent bank account online or through standard accounts so a variety of safeguards are necessary to guard against fraud. First, confirm that your bank is financially sound and bank deposits are fully covered by FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). The FDIC is an independent agency of the Federal Government that was established in the 1930s to preserve and promote confidence in the US financial system assuring deposits at banks. All reputable banks will have FDIC coverage.

Once you find a bank that you are comfortable with, a bank officer can help you determine a good plan for the specific circumstances and contribute to the implementation of security measures. There are many different precautions to ensure the safety of the bank account of an old man.

Standard bank accounts rely heavily on a paper trail such as checks, deposit slips and bank statements. This much information easily available through the mail and stored within the home, seniors need to create a secure method for receiving and storing bank account documents.

To protect the standard bank account:

Read the instructions as soon as you receive them. Examine any withdrawals and deposit for the accuracy. Report any inaccuracies to your bank.
Never leave bank statements or checks with a view to open around the House, especially if there is an outer join operator.
Take precautions with ATMs. Never lend themselves to someone or give someone else your password or personal identification number (PIN). When you use the ATM, other transactions shield around you that might be trying to watch what you’re doing.
Shred old checks and unused and old bank statements. Check with the Bank or accountant regarding how long to keep bank records. Save these instructions in a safe place and away from viewers at home.
Never give anyone a blank check signed.
Always initiate contact with your bank yourself. If you get a call from someone saying they are with your bank, hang up and call the Bank.
If necessary, get a joint checking account two signatures are required for withdrawals.
Set up a custodial account to consider. The Bank collects senior revenue and pays the Bills of seniors. If the elderly person needs money, the Bank will issue a credit or allowance so the senior has access to cash.
Online Banking has become an accepted and common way to manage bank accounts. Gives immediate access to bank information and users the ability to check that all transactions are accurate. However, fraud can take place online as well.

The precautions to be taken to the online banking include:

Log into your account regularly to verify the accuracy of transactions. Report any inaccuracies to your bank.
Ever do online banking in a public place like a library or a coffee shop. Others may be able to access your information.
Always initiate contact with your bank yourself.

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