Personal finance topics of special interest to the caregiver.

Customize Prepaid Visa card to block charges

Customize Prepaid Visa card to block charges

Managing Editor

True Link offers a prepaid Visa card that can be customized to control over-the-phone purchases and other unwanted charges that can mount up when a card owner has dementia.

We’ve all heard the horror stories.

A new friend requests a $100 check “just this once” every day for months; mom suffers from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t realize she’s signed dozens of these checks.

Your dad receives a call late at a night from someone claiming to be his granddaughter in an emergency; disoriented, he rushes to wire money to the individual not realizing he’s being scammed.

These situations are terrifying and all too frequent with an estimated 1 in 5 Americans age 65 or older having suffered financial abuse.

CEO Kai Stinchcombe said he had been looking for a solution to this problem for a few years before founding True Link, after his 92-year-old grandmother began writing up to 75 checks a month for organizations posing as charities.You can tweak the card’s parameters at any time using an online dashboard to modify transaction categories, spending limits, and more with a few clicks.

Before True Link, there were no good solutions for protecting an elderly loved one from financial entrapment.

You could have a conversation with dad about being wary of scammers, and then spend your precious time anxiously monitoring his account.

Or you could take away his checkbook and credit cards, making it difficult for him to make daily purchases at the grocery store or at the movies with friends – and causing him stress and anxiety over his lost independence.

True Link offers a prepaid Visa card that can be customized to block charges from unwanted sources. The card can also be set up to deny access to wire services like Western Union – a good defense against scammers requesting money transfers – and can limit transactions to a certain size to prevent large, unnecessary charges.

The True Link Visa card costs $10 monthly. You apply online. (There are no credit checks and your information is secure and private.)

Once activated, a True Link card can be funded from a checking account or via direct deposit of Social Security or other pension. True Link acts as the preauthorizer, giving it the power to see incoming charges and approve or deny them accordingly. 

You can tweak the card’s parameters using an online dashboard to modify transaction categories, spending limits, and more with a few clicks.

Learn more about True Link here.

Here’s what Forbes has to say about prepaids: “To find the best prepaid debit card for an elderly relative, it’s a good idea to do some research. “There are a lot of different types of prepaid cards,” Christina Tetreault, staff attorney with Consumers Union, says. “There are some good values but it’s important to shop around.” 

Joanne Kerstetter, Vice President of Money Management International, urges consumers to watch out for fees when choosing a prepaid debit card.

To read the entire article by Curtis Arnold, click Protect the Elderly from Scams with a Prepaid Debit Card.

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Susan Grimbly

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