Frauds & Scams, General, Guest Bloggers

Minimizing the Risk of Scams for People Living with Dementia

June 13, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: June 13, 2023

SSA Talks GraphicFinancial crime against older Americans is a growing problem. People living with dementia are at an especially high risk of becoming victims of fraud and financial abuse. That’s why we’re grateful for Social Security’s unwavering commitment to combatting fraud.

As their memory and other thinking skills decline, people with dementia may struggle to make financial decisions. They may not remember or report the abuse – or understand that someone is taking advantage of them. This abuse can occur anywhere – including at home or in care settings.

Victims of fraud who are 80 years and older lose an average of $39,200 every year. Studies show that financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse. However, only a small fraction of these incidents are reported.

You can help protect others by learning to recognize common signs of financial exploitation and abuse, including:

  • Unopened bills.
  • Unusual or large purchases.
  • Utilities being shut off due to unpaid bills.
  • Giving money to telemarketers or soliciting companies.
  • Unexplained withdrawals from the person’s bank account.

There are also many simple things that caregivers can do to reduce the risk of financial abuse and fraud for people with dementia and similar conditions, like Alzheimer’s. Do your best to make sure they’re involved in deciding which safety measures to put into place.

Some options include:

  • Agreeing to spending limits on credit cards.
  • Signing up for the “Do Not Call” list at
  • Setting up auto-pay for bills instead of paying them by check.
  • Signing up to receive automatic notifications for withdrawals from bank accounts or large charges to credit cards.
  • Requesting electronic bank and credit card statements and watching for unusual purchases or changes in how the person typically spends money.
  • Asking credit card companies to stop sending balance transfer checks and opting out of future solicitations.
  • Creating a separate account where you can keep a small, agreed-upon amount of money that the person can use for recreational activities, meals with friends, etc.

To learn more, please visit our website or call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

Our posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization, author, or webpages.

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  1. Leslie P.

    My husband who had been diagnosed with Dementia for 2 years at the age of 62 had all his symptoms reversed with Ayurveda medicine from naturalherbscentre. com after undergoing their Dementia natural protocol, he’s now able to comprehend what is seen. God Bless all Dementia disease Caregivers. Stay Strong, take small moments throughout the day to thank yourself, to love your self, and pray to whatever faith, star, spiritual force you believe in and ask for strength. I can personally vouch for these remedy but you would probably need to decide what works best for you💜.

    • Genale

      May I ask you if he had any other medical conditions? Also: was the medical doctor consulted? Do you know what stage of the progression your husband was in? Has the “after-treatment” care changed? In other words, what medicine is he taking to keep him from symptoms? I am so curious bc My mom is diagnosed with dementia. She has it for 4.5 years. I just want a cure. I stay involved in all research studies. TY.

  2. Ellen w.

    Have two computers or iPads. Use one iPad for social media and use one for banking. Keep them separate

    • Lucy G.

      It might be even better if each iPad had their own e-address …

  3. QQHippo.In

    Nice. Thanks for sharing it.


    Nice post. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Budayl U.

    I’ve gone through your blog. It is helpful and beneficial. Keep posting and sharing!

  6. Ann H.

    How can you opt out of solicitations for home warranties and car repair ads. Just phishing ads in general to opt out of.

  7. Chris

    I’ve gone through your blog. It is helpful and beneficial. Keep posting and sharing!

  8. John L.

    Social Security Administration is either inept or corrupt as the dollars value is inflated away.

    • Izzy

      John, would you mind sharing more of your opinion? I am on a debate team and the yearly argument topic for next year involves social security. Hearing your arguments would provide a GREAT counter argument.

  9. Edward L.

    WHY NO ACTION???????????????????????????

    • John L.

      The FBI, DOJ, & other Federal Agencies are corrupt. I imagine that they have other retirement funds than Social Security. Also, Social Security is either inept or corrupt also.

      • S. J.

        Congratulations on the fact that you are so financially well off that you have no need of social security benefits as well as Medicare. Neither are you caring on your own for two aging parents one of whom is disabled. If that is corruption then it has my blessing! I want to thank you for all the sacrifices of you time and money on behalf of the charities. As you know from your own life experience, those who can, DO. Those who can’t sit and howl corruption

        • joe g.

          Well stated J. Janssen. : ]

    • mary

      There is lots of information out there about pursuit of fraud. Check out monthly AARP publications for one.

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