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Reimburse Victims of Online Scams; 4 Keys to Help Your Loving Senior Get Back Hope

If your beloved senior relative or friend has fallen victim to an online scam, it’s natural to feel disheartened and worried about the loss of their hard-earned assets. However, it’s crucial to know that hope shines through even in the darkest times.

The first thing you need to know is that you and your loved one are not alone. Unfortunately and according to research, online scams take more than 35 billion dollars each year from the elderly in America.

Depressed man reflecting about a recent swindle he suffered online and thinking that the tech sector should reimburse victims of scams

But there are also stories of hope when seniors affected by scams were able to recover all or at least part of what was robbed from them.

We are deeply sorry if you have to go through this journey now, and we want to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. So we’re giving you four keys that can make a difference in recovering what fraudsters took from your loved one.

1 – Try to Stay Calm and Be Patient, and Help Your Senior Do So

It’s absolutely natural to feel a whirlwind of emotions—including anger, frustration, and even despair—if your elderly loved one has been the victim of fraud.

However, we encourage you to do your best to keep calm and understand that reclaiming your senior’s assets can be a lengthy process that may require patience.

Staying calm as much as possible will help you act fast, but wisely. In elderly fraud cases, working swiftly and precisely can make a big difference in recovering your loved one’s assets.

Take a deep breath and remind yourself and your loved one that you’re not alone in this situation. Reach out to trusted friends, family, mental health professionals, or support groups who can guide and sustain you during this challenging time.

Elderly mom being supported by their family after expressing that tech should reimburse victims of online fraud

The steps you’re about to take have the purpose of triggering investigations that may take time to complete. There are several entities that can help you, but they have processes that may be bureaucratic.

Now, let’s pick up the pace.

2 – Gather as Much Information as Possible

Having a strong case against your senior’s scammers can make a huge difference in helping authorities and other entities like your bank, find the people responsible for the scam sooner, increasing the chances of recovering your loved one’s assets.

The proof you need to collect to support a reimbursement claim will vary depending on the specific scam that your senior relative or friend fell victim to. However, some general pieces of evidence that you may want to gather include:

  1. Copies of any emails, text messages, phone call records, or other communications your senior had with the scammer.
  2. Bank statements or other records showing the money that was lost.
  3. Screenshots, files, internet addresses, emails, or other documentation that refers to the scam website or landing page.
  4. Witness statements from anybody who saw or heard about the scam.
  5. Any other evidence that you believe may be relevant to the case.

Here are some additional tips for gathering evidence to support your reimbursement claim:

  • Take screenshots of any scam websites or landing pages as soon as possible. This will help keep the evidence in case the website or pages are taken down.
  • Keep a detailed record of everything that happened, including the date, time, and details of the scam, and reference every event to the corresponding piece of evidence you have.
  • Get as many witness statements as you can. If anyone else saw or heard about the scam, ask them to write a statement about what they saw or heard.

An elderly mother and young daughter doing calculations after the first lost money in an online scam

The more evidence you can gather and provide to the authorities, the stronger your case will be. So be sure to save everything and document it as thoroughly as possible.

3- Know Your Best Options to Report the Fraud and Request a Refund

Contact Your Senior’s Bank

Contacting your senior’s bank is the most sensible first step. Depending on how long it has been since the funds were taken, the bank might be able to stop or reverse transactions and freeze the account to prevent further damage.

Ask your loved one for their bank information or assist them in contacting the bank themselves. Most banks nowadays have cellphone apps with which you can lock your credit card or account from being used no matter what.

However, the best choice is normally to call the bank because it’s faster. Financial institutions have phone menus that are usually designed to lead your senior to make a stolen card or fraud report quickly.

A senior man calling their bank after suffering an online scam | Tech should reimburse victims of online theft

The emergency numbers are normally on the back of your senior’s credit card, and if not, you can quickly do a Google search to find out their contact info. Just make sure to look at the site’s URL (‘www’ internet address) so you can be certain you’re entering the bank’s legitimate site.

When you’re talking to the bank’s representative, clearly explain the situation, providing as many details as you can, such as the nature of the scam and the amount of money involved, and mention any evidence or documentation you may have.

Ask the representative for guidance on the steps to follow. They’ll probably advise freezing the affected accounts immediately. Additionally, inquire about the bank’s fraud resolution process and what they require to initiate an investigation.

Be sure to keep a record of the date and time of the call, and the name of the representative to whom you speak for future reference.

Contact the Police

Contacting the police should be your second step after reaching your bank, especially if your financial institution is unable to stop or reverse any transactions, but also in any other case.

The most practical way to do so is to file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

The IC3 is run by the FBI and it’s the main place to submit reports of crimes done via the Internet. They have a specific section to report elderly fraud, which will trigger an investigation process.

Elderly woman and her daughter filing a report after becoming victims of online fraud and looking for a reimbursement

To make a report, the IC3 will request this info:

  • Names (real or given) of the scammer and alleged accomplices
  • Dates of all the times your loved one had communication with the fraudster
  • Methods or ways of communication: email, phone, chat, websites, or others
  • Email addresses, phone numbers, websites, mailing addresses, or other digital or physical channels the swindler used
  • Methods of payment through which money or assets were transferred (e.g., mobile or wire transfers)
  • Where the funds were sent by every method of transfer or payment used (financial institutions, account names, and account numbers)
  • Descriptions in detail of each of your loved one’s interactions with the thieves, what they told your senior, the claims they made, and what instructions they gave

You can also make a similar official report by phone through your local police office. Reno has an FBI office you can contact to make your elderly fraud report.

4 – There’s Always Hope

As you go through the process of recovering your loved one’s assets, you might encounter delays or setbacks, and we know this can be frustrating and disheartening.

But it’s crucial to remember that the recovery process often involves complex legal procedures, investigations, and coordination with various entities.

As long as there are options and avenues available, we encourage you to keep the faith and do your best to aid public and private officers in doing their job.

In most cases where authorities successfully recovered all or part of a victim’s money, this was achieved thanks to the patience and continued cooperation of all parties involved.

An Expert Caregiver Can Be Your Ally In Recovering Your Loved One’s Hard-Earned Estate

A professional caregiver can give you incredible support for your loved one, especially through the healing and recovery process after an unfortunate online scam event.

Female caregiver validating an elderly woman scammed out of their assets

There are several ways in which a capable caregiver can be your elderly loved one’s rock in these tough times:

  • Emotional Support: Dealing with the aftermath of elderly fraud can be a psychological challenge for your loved one. A caregiver can lend a compassionate and listening ear, helping your senior express their feelings, process the experience, and work to transcend the mishap.
  • Practical Assistance: A caregiver can assist with the practical aspects of the refund request. They can help your loved one gather and organize documents, and facilitate communication with the appropriate parties, ensuring that your senior takes all the needed steps to move forward the recovery processes.
  • Coordination: A caregiver can act as a liaison between your beloved senior and the entities involved in the recovery process. They can coordinate appointments, meetings, or calls with law enforcement, financial institutions, or legal advisors.
  • Advocacy: By fully understanding your loved one’s situation and advocating for their rights and interests, your senior’s caregiver can ensure that their voice is heard and that actions are effectively taken to recover their assets.
  • Prevention Strategies: To prevent other scams, a caregiver can help your senior learn about common fraud tactics—including scam recovery frauds—and how to detect warning signs. A caregiver can also share information on all the safe online practices with your senior.
  • Financial Monitoring: With the senior’s consent and under your supervision, a care professional can help monitor your loved one’s financial accounts to prevent more damage. They can help review bank statements, identify irregularities, and report suspicious activities promptly.

Amy’s Eden caregivers have made their life mission to help the elderly in the good and the bad times.

Our founder, Deena, has been devoted to elderly caregiving for almost 20 years and has poured all her wisdom and experience into a service that provides dedicated attention to each one of our senior clients.

Our signature caregiving model lets us help your loved one with every aspect of their lives they may need assistance with, including aspects of their finances.

As a matter of fact, our services qualify as licensed protected supervision, which enables us to advocate for your loved one’s legal interests in cases of need.

Female caregiver serving dinner to her senior | Tech should reimburse victims of online scams

We can assist your senior either in the comfort of their home or by inviting them to come live in one of our upscale assisted living residencies, to which you’ll have full access.

We’ll be happy to be your beloved senior’s right hand, especially in times of trouble.

Please, reach out to us, and let’s talk about how we can support your senior through thick and thin, and help them enjoy life in their golden years.

Learn more: 3 Key Measures to Protect Your Loved One from Elderly Fraud Abuse

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