5 tips for financial caregivers during the coronavirus pandemic

Financial caregivers for older adults are facing unique challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some tips from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on navigating your role as a financial caregiver so that your loved one is financially protected.
  1. Recognize ways your loved one may be financially exploited. Even during the best of times, some wrong-doers may try to take advantage of an older person. That can include family, friends, neighbors, caregivers, business people, and others. They may take money without permission, fail to repay money they owe, charge too much for services, or just not do what they were paid to do. In challenging times, elder financial exploitation may be even more common.

  2. Know the warning signs. Use extra vigilance in spotting common signs of financial exploitation: large amounts of money missing from a person’s bank or investment accounts, unusual use of credit cards, changes in spending habits, unpaid bills, or missing possessions.

  3. Stay connected. Not being able to see your loved one face-to-face is difficult in many ways. Phone calls and video chats can help older adults and their families connect during this period when in-person contact is limited. Be sure to ask questions about money and follow up if your loved one expresses concerns or mentions unusual activity.

  4. Beware of scams. Older adults, as well as their family members, should be aware of common types of scams, as well as some specific coronavirus-related scams. Recommend to your loved one that they be cautious, take their time, and consult with you if they are confronting what could be fraud. Advise older adults to:

    • Hang up on robocalls without pressing any numbers.
    • Never click on links in emails from sources they don’t know.
    • Never divulge personal, confidential information like date of birth, social security number, or bank account numbers over the phone.
    • Ignore online offers for vaccinations, home test kits, or other fraudulent COVID 19-related items.
    • Be on the lookout for government imposters posing as officials from the CDC, FBI, IRS, or Social Security Administration. Tell your loved one that the government will not contact them and threaten to dock their Social Security check because of a fine they supposedly owe.
    • Be on guard for investment frauds, specifically scams that involve investing in gold and silver.

  5. Stay informed. Being a financial caregiver is an important job. For more information and resources, read the easy-to-understand “Managing Someone Else’s Money” guides and the “Resources for Older Adults” guides developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

We’re here to help during the coronavirus pandemic. Call 1-800-288-3425 to find out how we can help you.

Find more tips on protecting your finances during the coronavirus pandemic at www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus.