Elder Abuse in Financial Scams
Physical health and mental acuity in elderly individuals may have declined significantly, leaving them easy targets for those who see an opportunity for easy gains. Older people are frequently the targets of well-organized financial scams that steal large sums of money from them before the perpetrators can be apprehended. These scams are a form of financial elder abuse that is addresed by a number of laws.
Who Targets the Elderly?
Older people may be targeted by total strangers who work up elaborate scams that are designed to trick the individual out of money. Scams may also be perpetrated by family members or friends, who use their influence with the older person to get control of their money or property.
How Are Scams Conducted?
The types of financial scams perpetrated against elderly persons is almost infinite, but they fall into a few broad categories:
· Telemarketing Scams – In this form of financial elder abuse, the senior may be pressured to send money ahead of a deadline, purchase something with a limited supply, or may be intimidated by a caller posing as a government official, such as the police or the Internal Revenue Service.
· Mail Fraud – Seniors may be deluged with mail solicitations from fake political groups or charities, pressuring them for donations.
· Vastly Overcharging For Items – In other cases, a perpetrator may sell products that are necessary for their health or comfort priced at inflated levels.
· Sharing “Found” Money – This scam, often referred to as the “pigeon drop,” has a perpetrator contacting an elder to share in money that has been “found,” but only after the elder puts up some money to show good faith.
· Unsolicited Home Repairs – Many con artists scour neighborhoods with elderly populations to offer home repairs at a discount. They take payment up front and fail to do the work or do shoddy work.
· The Fake Injury Scenario – Some con artists pose as policemen who report the injury or imprisonment of an elder’s family member. They then extract money to help the family member.
Here at Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers, we can help address these forms of financial elder abuse and can assist with secure estate planning for senior family members.