Beware: Elder Scams Are On the Rise – Here’s How to Protect Yourself

/ / Law Blog
elder scams

As if the pandemic is not bad enough, you need to know that scams against seniors have increased during the pandemic.  That is because seniors in particular are more vulnerable to the coronavirus and must stay home. Scammers know this.  So, they are calling seniors at home more and trying to get their information.  It is an ugly game, but scammers keep doing it, in record numbers.

In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most common recent scams, and we will give you a few tips on how to protect you and your loved ones.  

If, after reading this blog, you have additional questions about your own situation, then we welcome you to contact our elder abuse lawyers in Stuart, FL, at our firm, Crary Buchanan.  At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Stuart, Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Find the elder abuse lawyers in Stuart who are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation.  Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate planning to consult online with our online contact form

Here are the most common scams impacting our seniors in Palm Beach County and nationwide:

1. Posing as Grandchildren

In one particular scam, scammers with a young-sounding voice will call asking if a senior citizen recognizes the voice on the other end of the line.  When the senior response with the name of a grandchild, the scammer will use that to gain trust, effectively impersonate the grandchild and ultimately begin to ask for money for unexpected bills, an emergency, or some other issue that tugs at the senior’s heartstrings.

Given the lack of background knowledge needed and the relatively small amount of money asked for, this scam can be particularly effective for the scammer.  Many of these thefts may go unreported because of either the embarrassment of the victim or the relatively small amount involved.

2. Scams Related to Health Care

One of the more common ways seniors are defrauded is through health insurance scams.  From menacing phone calls to emails that purport to be about an outstanding debt, the authoritative-sounding voices or words impacting seniors make the seniors easy prey.  That is particularly true when the scammers’ threat tends to be the loss of health insurance altogether.

3. Schemes Related to Phony Investments

Many seniors are living longer.  That is a wonderful fact by which family and friends have more time with their loved ones.  Living longer, however, could put a strain on retirement savings.

Often, criminals who specialize in fraud will call seniors with what sounds like a sure-fire investment to stretch the precious dollars they have been saving through a lifetime of work.  They then entice the senior to give all or part of their savings to those behind the investment scheme and either create false statements or abscond with the money, never to be seen or heard from again.

4. Counterfeit prescription drugs 

Oftentimes, seniors on a fixed income are the first to fall for the promise of counterfeit prescription drugs. Unscrupulous merchants entice vulnerable men and women with the promise of savings and either deliver ineffective pills disguised as prescription medication or do not deliver at all.

5. Scams Related to Homeownership

The fifth type of senior scam involves the reverse mortgage.  With this scheme, criminals will fraudulently present themselves as a governmental or financial institution to induce a senior to pay a “commission” for a better – and fake – interest rate on a mortgage or reverse mortgage.

Ways to Protect Yourself or Loved Ones

The best advice for keeping away the scammers is to:

1. Don’t answer the phone if a call is from a stranger.
2. If someone calls, claiming to be from an insurance company, only take a message.  Then have a trusted family member call the number back.
3. Those with elderly loved ones should check in more often.
4. Finally, anyone who suspects fraud or abuse should report it to the police or the state attorney general’s office.

Find Experienced Elder Abuse Lawyers in Stuart Today – Call Crary Buchanan

It doesn’t matter what type of injury you sustained.  You have the right to seek compensation if another person caused you injury or loss.   A personal injury claim can compensate you for these costs.  Yet, you need the right legal advocate on your side to get full and fair compensation for your damages.  If you or someone you love suffered an injury, speak with a Stuart, Martin County personal injury attorney from Crary Buchanan.  We want to help you recover the money you need.

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of personal injury law.  You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry. 

Our legal team is passionate about maintaining the high standards of professionalism and legal service that were established and practiced by founding attorneys Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.  Evans Crary Sr. began his law practice in Stuart in 1927 at a time when Martin County was only two years old.  He became a municipal judge at the age of 25 and served as County Attorney for 23 years. 

During his time as County Attorney, he was elected to represent Martin County in the Florida Legislature.  In 1945 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives.  He served in the House for nine years and even served as Speaker of the House before he went on to become a member of the Florida Senate.  Today, the Crary Buchanan law firm continues to practice the example of integrity, professionalism, energy, and devotion that was clearly illustrated in the lives of both Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations.  Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations.  When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

If you have more questions or want a dedicated car accident lawyer in Stuart to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form.  You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust.  Call today.