Scammers are always looking for ways to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, and seniors are often the targets of their schemes. You need to be on constant alert to avoid being cheated out of a significant amount of money. The frequency with which these schemes occur, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, is truly frightening.
The National Council on Aging has released a list of the top ten financial scams targeting seniors. They include scammers:
- posing as a Medicare representative,
- offering counterfeit prescription drugs,
- selling fraudulent anti-aging medicines.
The cons are often ingenious in nature, and may even involve researching personal information about the seniors, such as the names of their relatives. One scam involves calling an elderly person and pretending to be a grandson, keeping vague and letting the senior assume it’s someone he or she knows. After a few weeks of calls like this, the scammer can play the part based on what he’s learned, and then asks the senior for money. Since it’s a “relative,” the senior sends money to help, and the scammer can keep this going for months.
Many “in-person” schemes like this rely on the fact that seniors tend to suffer from poor memory. Other scams really on technology, such as cell phones or the Internet, which are less familiar to seniors.
Prosecuting these crimes can be more difficult, as seniors can make unreliable witnesses, and any misremembered details might be enough to make a judge or jury skeptical.
If you or a loved one is nearing the point of retirement or end-of-life decisions, it’s important that you protect yourself and your assets. The most frightening aspect of elder fraud is that it’s not only perpetrated by complete strangers. In many cases, it is someone that the victims trust, such as caregivers, or unscrupulous relatives.
This is why we highly recommend that you plan ahead and protect yourself and your loved ones by making important estate planning and end-of-life decisions sooner rather than later. Consulting an experienced elder care lawyer who can advocate on your behalf and give you honest advice can help you navigate these difficult decisions.
One important decision is who will have power of attorney if something happens to you. If your mental or physical condition deteriorates to the point that you can no longer make decisions about healthcare and finances, it’s crucial to have someone you trust to step in on your behalf. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
If you or a loved one has important end-of-life decisions to make, the dedicated attorneys at Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC can help. Our experienced team of Pennsylvania life care planning attorneys is committed to protecting families and their finances. Call one of our friendly representatives at (570) 784-5211 today to schedule a free consultation.