Senior citizens are often the target of financial scams. Many seniors suffer from diminished capacity of some sort, so they are reliant on others to assist with their finances, which can make them vulnerable to abuse.
According to the National Council on Aging, below are the top ten financial elder abuse scams:
- Health Insurance Fraud. All U.S. citizens or permanent residents over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare, so scammers pose as Medicare representatives in order to obtain the seniors personal information. This information can be used to bill Medicare for bogus services or other forms of identity theft crimes.
- Prescription Drugs. Seniors who use the internet to order their medications are susceptible to prescription drug scams. The perpetrator provides pills that will not help the elders medical condition and pockets the money.
- Funerals. Scammers read obituaries in order to locate and manipulate grieving family members. The scam can vary from acting as a debt collector of the deceased, adding unnecessary expenses to the funeral or cemetery bill, order an expensive casket for the deceased person to be cremated in, and a variety of other fraudulent schemes.
- Anti-Aging Products. As people age, they worry about their appearance. This opens the door to a whole new group of con artists offering fraudulent anti-aging products and procedures. These scams can be harmful to your health as well as your wallet.
- Telemarketers. Con artists understand that many seniors are lonely. Thus, they prey upon them by calling and being friendly while urging the elderly person to buy a phony product or donate to a fake charity.
- Internet. The Internet has provided scammers a new means for targeting senior citizens. By using a virus, the con artist can gain access to confidential and personal information and use it for their own gain before the victim is even aware the information has been stolen.
- Investments. As individuals approach their golden years, they are often looking for a way to protect their money for their later years. Thus, pyramid schemes and other financial scams are aimed at older individuals.
- Mortgages. Many older individuals have either paid for their home or have significant equity in it. Con artists have developed a variety of scams, including tax reassessments and reverse mortgages, in order to take advantage and gain ownership of this valuable asset.
- Sweepstakes. Scammers have invented a variety of sweepstakes and lottery scams. Seniors are promised they can win large prizes if they purchase tickets or pay a small fee. The elderly person may even receive a prize check in the mail, but days later the bank rejects it as being a fake.
- Grandparent scam. Con artists know no boundaries, so they are fine with taking advantage of your love for your grandchildren or other relatives. The scammer calls the senior citizen and simply acts like their grandchild and at some point, the fake grandchild will explain their need for money.
If you believe your elderly loved one has been the victim of a financial scam or is no longer able to handle their finances, it may be time to consider a conservatorship. Having conservator powers will help you protect the conservatee from physical harm and financial ruin. If you are uncertain about the timing for a conservatorship, feel free to contact us to schedule your no-cost consultation. We are truly here to help. Simply call: (714) 963-7543. The Legacy Lawyers are dedicated to your peace of mind.