Combating Financial Fraud in the Elderly is a paid collaboration with GuardianCard. This year has seen a real increase in financial fraud with criminals exploiting the changes and a rise in online data harvesting and a fall in cheque and contactless card fraud. This is where GuardianCard comes in as it is a safe, simple and secure solution to taking care of the finances of an older or vulnerable family member.
We are not called the Sandwich Generation for nothing, with many of us having to care for not only our children but also our parents too. Sandwiched in the middle trying to balance everything for everyone.
What is GuardianCard?
The easiest way to describe GuardianCard is a prepaid debit card (either physical or virtual and up to 5 cards on one account) which is linked to the account to give to trusted family members or friends so that they can shop or pay bills on a person’s behalf.
The card has all the functionality of a debit card but with the added benefit that you can set a spending limit on the cards and restrict the cards to certain types of retail outlet. You also get real-time transaction reports so you always know exactly what is being spent, by who, and where.
Carers Shopping Card
This year my children have been shopping for their grandparents on a weekly basis due to the risks of Covid-19. The GuardianCard has become the perfect accompaniment to these weekly trips. My in-laws have issued the boys a physical card preloaded with a set weekly amount.
We are not alone with doing the shopping for my in-laws, as Covid, financial pressures and social isolation have created the “perfect storm” for lots of older people who have been more dependent on carers, family and friends to shop for them whilst they are isolated at home.
A GuardianCard is the perfect card for those who are shopping or supporting others. You might ask why this is necessary – well according to a recent In Safe Hands report 1 in 4 over 70’s has experienced financial abuse issues. and it does help reduce ‘temptation theft’ where someone you thought you could trust slips a little something for themselves into the shopping.
Not only does it help prevent temptation theft, but it is so much safer for my boys too as my parent in law insisted on giving cash at the beginning of Covid. A physical debit card would have meant that they could use contactless. Plus if they misplace the card it can be frozen instantly on the app. With the app downloaded on my parent in-laws phone (and mine too for technological help) they can see how much has been spent and at which shopThen when the boys get home I can attach a photo of the receipt to the transaction and add a comment which is perfect for listing any items they couldn’t get.
A virtual card can be issued if you are organising a regular online shop too. A GuardianCard is so versatile. I like that the cards issued to the boys have their name on, so if they are questioned by the cashier, they can prove the card belongs to them. Initially at the beginning of Covid I gave them my debit card to do their grandparents shopping – but this can actually be seen as fraud and any losses cannot be recovered.
Power of Attorney Card
We have a friend who is going through a really tough time as one of their parents has dementia and it has meant for a complete change in personality and habits when it comes to spending, so much so one of their children has had to take on power of attorney.
Issuing their parent with a GuardianCard would really aid their relationship with their parent and take away a lot of the stress, risk and tension that money causes, and takes away the need for arranging power of attorney.
By limiting the amount available to spend each week and also preventing spending in certain places it would really help with managing money and providing peace of mind. They can get real-time transaction reports so that any suspicious activity is spotted immediately and the account can be frozen. All main bank account details remain secure and with the set limit on the GuardianCard, they are protected from cash thefts, opportunistic tradespeople or rogue traders. You can even say that it can not be used at an ATM, so no one can take advantage or insist on going with their vulnerable parent to get cash out to pay for a job.
Dedicated Internet Purchase Card
There are so many financial frauds perpetrated on the internet and having a dedicated GuardianCard to use for any online transactions would be a great back up. It can be used as a way to maintain a level of financial independence but with the back up of set spending limits and blocking and unblocking cards with the touch of a button.
GuardianCard has a fabulous and comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions Section on their website, but you can also contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01482 739139. They are open there for you 8am-8pm, seven days a week. But you can block cards at any time using their App which is available for iPhone and Android devices. It can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play.