Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - There’s good news for older Americans. While financial abuse and scams are believed to cost seniors an estimated $3 billion annually, you can help prevent them and protect yourself.

For example, here are some steps you can take:

• Plan your financial future with trusted family members, friends and professionals. If managing your daily finances is difficult, consider engaging a money manager.

• Talk with a lawyer about creating a durable power of attorney for asset management, a revocable or living will, and trust and health care advance directives.

• Don’t be pressured or intimidated into quick financial decisions or sign any documents you do not completely understand.

• Never provide personal information (Social Security number, credit card) over the phone unless you placed the call and know with whom you are speaking.

• Tear up or shred credit card receipts, bank statements, solicitations and financial records before disposing of them.

For more tips on avoiding exploitation, or if you suspect you or someone you know is being exploited, call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging.