Elderly Financial Scams

March 23, 2020

Elderly financial scams are on the rise, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Seniors are often targeted by online scammers and other unscrupulous individuals looking to take advantage of those who are most vulnerable. Con artists employ different tactics to convince elderly persons to part with their hard-earned money. The following are some of the most common scenarios to look out for:

  • Computer scams: Computer scams often involve scammers posing as technical support agents. After having a pop-up warning appear on their computer, elderly persons will often call the number listed for technical support only to have their sensitive information stolen. Other types of computer scams include email phishing, sweepstakes, lottery, and fake prize offers.
  • Credit card scams: An increasingly popular scam involves fraudsters telling elderly persons that their credit card has been hacked. They then convince the elderly person to max out the card by buying gift cards to prevent further misuse.
  • Fake family emergency scams: Scammers may call an elderly individual and claim to be their grandchild. They will usually say that they have been in an accident or are involved in some other emergency that requires the elderly person to send them money immediately.
  • Funeral fraud: Elderly individuals who have lost their spouse are vulnerable to funeral fraud. This type of financial scam involves con artists gaining information from the obituaries and then attending the funerals to exploit surviving family members.
  • IRS imposter: Scammers may call posing as an Internal Revenue Service representative to gather financial information from elderly people. To gain such sensitive information, the imposter will typically either tell the elderly person that they have unpaid taxes that must be paid immediately to avoid penalties or that they are owed a tax refund.
  • Medicare scams: Scammers may pose as Medicare representatives to gain an elderly person’s trust. They will either call elderly people on the phone or provide health services at sham mobile clinics to collect personal information that they can later exploit.
  • Pigeon Drop: This scam involves calling someone to tell them that they may collect a share of a large sum of money if they make a “good faith” payment from their bank account. Con artists employing this tactic may pose as a lawyer, banker, or other trustworthy professional.

Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed

Being aware of the various scams that are being implemented is one of the most important things elderly persons can do to avoid being victimized by elderly financial scams. Other steps they may take include not signing papers that they do not understand, verifying the identity of purported businesspeople, and not responding to unsolicited advertisements either in person, through the mail, or on the phone. Those who have been exploited in a fraud scheme should report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies and contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Brooklyn Elder Law Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Protect Seniors from Elder Abuse

Contact a Brooklyn elder law lawyer at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP to ensure that your rights are protected. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with any area of elder law, including disability planning, guardianships, estate planning, and Medicaid issues. We serve clients throughout New York and New Jersey from our offices in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Lakewood, New Jersey. To discuss your case, contact us online or call us at 212-495-8133.