Senior Legal Corner: Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors

by MichelleR on January 16, 2012

Senior Legal Corner: Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors

Financial scams are hard to
prosecute and in most cases considered a “low risk” crime. Seniors caught up in
a financial scam can leave them in a vulnerable position and lack of resources
to recoup their losses. Low-income seniors are as much at risk as those who are
wealthy, so the need to be aware of the precautions is great.

1. Posing as a Medicare Representative to Acquire Personal Information.

These scammers will even stoop to posing in a mobile clinic vehicle to collect
information and even send out a bill mocking Medicare to pocket the profits.

2. Buying Counterfeit Prescription Drugs Online.

It might appear to be a better a price, but it’s not worth taking the unsafe substance that can do more harm
than good. The FDA investigated over 20 cases per year.

3. Funeral and Cemetery Scams.

Scammers will read obituaries
and either call or attend the funeral claiming the deceased owed money. Be
aware of fake debts.

Check your bill and assure
there are no unnecessary charges from funeral homes.

Cremation is done with a
cardboard box, not a casket. Do not be swindled into thinking that an expensive
casket is needed, because it is not.

4. Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products

In Arizona there was a case of
fake Botox which made $1.5 million a year. They were convicted and jailed in
2006, revealing that the fake Botox caused severe health problems such as permanent
nerve damage.

5. Telemarketing.

The most common, to prevent
change your answering machine to an automatic voice and install caller id, so
as not to answer when you don’t know the number that is calling. Be aware of “The
Fake Accident Ploy” when someone calls stating a family member is in need of
money. “Charity Scams” fake charities usually emerge after a natural disaster,
examples are seen in the Raise for Haiti scams. “The Pigeon Drop” someone calls
stating they found a large sum of money and would like to put it into your
account, they usually work in pairs.

6. Internet Fraud.

Virus or web browser pop ups
such as firewall and built in virus protection, trap those who are not
completely aware of the dangers on the internet. Beware of email and phishing
scams for example, receiving emails that appear to be from the IRS about a tax
refund or a family member in trouble in need of wiring money.

7. Investment Schemes

Be aware of what you donate and
invest in.

8. Home Owners and Reverse Mortgage Scams.

Beware of letters that mock
public announcements and those wanted to re-finance or reassess property value
for a fee. As a result those who fall victims to this scam can lose their homes.

9. Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams.

Seniors will be sent a fake
check to deposit into their account and in a few days the check will be
rejected during which the scammers have access to the account information and charge
the account of supposed fees.

10. The Grandparent Scam.

Scammers pose as grandchildren
to ask for money and convince them not to tell the parents.

If you feel you have been a victim or potential victim of a scam, please call your bank right away and make
a police report. Making a police report is very important to stopping the
scammers and retrieving any losses. It is always good to call your bank ahead
of a scam and ask how they can protect you in scammed situation.

Please tell us of any experiences or advice you might have.

 

“All 4 Wine, LLC, d.b.a. as an independently owned and operated Home Instead Senior Care franchise”

 

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