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.
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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
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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.
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