The holiday season often brings together family and friends that don’t see each other very often. This presents an opportunity to help stem the spread of an unfortunate epidemic in the U.S., namely the proliferation of financial fraud and exploitation of our elderly. In addition to discussing the implications of the “fiscal cliff” tax code changes and other year-end matters, we can do a great service by discussing some ways to protect the elderly from financial fraud and exploitation.
While approaching the subway in Barcelona a couple of years ago, my family and I witnessed a pickpocket attempting to lift a wallet from the back pocket of a man a mere five feet in front of us. The man detected the thief, but before he could grab the perpetrator, the thief fled. Based on what he shouted, the near victim was clearly a local.
When I’m on vacation, I’m a tourist and sadly look the part with camera and kids in tow. The pickpocket did not try to take anything from me or my wife or children and there was a reason for this. Most thieves would prefer easy targets to difficult ones. We’ve traveled the world and to some notorious havens for theft from tourists, like the Circumvesuviano train that runs from Naples to Pompeii, without ever having anything stolen, knock on wood. We pack things up pretty tight, hold our bags, packs and purses securely, don’t keep valuables in accessible pockets, and are attentive to what’s going on around us.
Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/