It seems that with each passing day scammers become more and more creative with ways to cheat unsuspecting elders of their money – a nefarious game known officially as “elder fraud”. According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, elders lose a combined yearly total of nearly $3.0 billion – averaging to over $86,000 per victim.
This is a serious matter in the eyes of authorities and could possibly ruin the life of an elderly loved one. At our law firm, we are prepared to protect your loved ones from costly scams with our California elder fraud lawyers. Our competitive firm is experienced in all types of elder abuse, allowing us to be your protectors in times of need.
The Biggest Threats to Elders in the US
- Healthcare Scams – Oftentimes, unsuspecting elders will get calls regarding health insurance or medical bills. These oftentimes calls the attention of an elder as they experience more health problems. Scammers will ask for money to pay for unpaid health bills or insurance plans when, in reality, the fraudster has no real connection to any healthcare institution.
- Tax scams – Claiming to be from the IRS or a debt collection agency, some criminals may try to draw money from elderly folk by means of non-existent claims of missed taxes.
- Utility or house payment schemes – A fake representative from a utility company or bank will try to reach an elder and steal their money claiming they had not properly paid off utility bills or a mortgage/house payment.
- Car warranty scams – Claiming to extend a car’s warranty by confirming the owner’s identity, a con artist will steal the elder’s identity and use it to request loans, open credit cars, and make other large-ticket purchases.
- Tech support schemes – Most often performed over the computer, some scammers will contact an older individual stating that they have a virus on their computer or that their software is outdated. Upon accepting help, the conmen will hack into the computer, stealing their information.
- Scams from family members – Elders may not even be safe from rogue family members. They may show up at the house of the elder, claiming to be there to visit or provide care when they are actually attempting to steal valuable goods from their house. Additionally, the nefarious family member may call asking for money for “medical bills” or to “get their car released from a tow company”, hoping that the unsuspecting family member will write them a hefty check.
- Charity schemes – Many people who are older enjoy giving money to charitable foundations and organizations that they are passionate about. While there are real, established, and certified foundations, there is always a risk that a scammer may call, posing as a charity and requesting money.
- Prescription drugs – Elders sometimes seek cheaper alternatives to the rising prices of prescription drugs. After searching online and paying for fake versions of real mediations, their credit card information is stolen and they never receive what they ordered.
- Investment Scams – In some cases, older folk have trouble managing their money. As a result, grifters may call or email them, explaining that they have an opportunity to invest their money. The result is a large sum of cash stolen from right underneath the elder.
- Home repair scheme – Scammers who are familiar with home repair may pass by homes in hopes of identifying a problem with the exterior. They may target elders, hoping that they will give them an upfront payment without ever actually receiving the services. Elders may accept, unknowingly buying a service that they will never receive.
What to Do if You or a Loved One Is a Victim of Elder Fraud
Seeking immediate legal help should be your first step following a false charge to the elder’s financial institutions. California elder fraud attorney Joel Bryant can help you secure compensation in a court of law. If you are looking for a competitive lawyer to help with your case, please reach out to us at your earliest convenience.