In today’s technological society, crimes are becoming more and more advanced—and also harder to detect. Cyber crimes such as credit card fraud and sealing identities are constantly on the rise. Unfortunately and unfairly, increasingly more of these crimes are being aimed at senior citizens.
When it comes to money scams, elderly men and women are considered a top target for a number of reasons. First, people assume that older citizens have storehouses of money stashed away. Secondly, they assume that seniors are not savvy enough to catch on to them. Since many older adults entrust their livelihoods to family members to look after, sometimes all of a senior’s assets are completely out of his or her hands. This is good news for predatory scammers, but it can have staggering financial effects on seniors.
Look Out for the Scams
Some of these scams can be devastating, both financially and emotionally, even for people who spend years meticulously planning their estates.
To protect yourself and your assets, be on the lookout for some of the more popular scams, including:
- Medicare or insurance fraud. Predators may pose as representatives from Medicare, health care, or insurance agencies in order to get personal information out of you, including credit card and social security information.
- Funeral scams. One popular funeral scam involves someone claiming that the deceased individual owes him or her money, which might have to come out of the surviving relative’s pocket. In other funeral scams, perpetrators claim that funeral services cost more than they truly do.
- Fraudulent products. Scammers can take advantage of virtually any products aimed at seniors. Predators can pretend to be selling a wide range of products, from beauty products to fake prescription drugs, and will take the unknowing individual’s credit card information and wreak havoc on his or her finances.
- Sweepstakes scams. This is one that people of all ages are aware of and a lot of people are on the lookout for, but some older people are more susceptible to these types of scams. These often involve scammers telling seniors that they have won something, only to take their information and empty their bank accounts.
- “The grandparent scam.” This is probably one of the lowest types of senior scams—where someone will call up a senior citizen posing as a grandchild and simply request money from the individual, who will often willingly send it over without realizing they are being tricked.
Each of these scams can be devastating to elderly citizens and could potentially bankrupt entire estates.
Knowledgeable attorneys understand that most of the nation’s senior citizens are living on fixed incomes and do not have hoards of money stashed away, as some people seem to believe. We also know that whatever assets you do have, you worked hard for and deserve to keep.
Defend Your Assets
These scams are terrible however you look at them, but they are even worse when individuals fail to notice them. This is easier than you may think. Since plenty of people do not constantly patrol their bank accounts, it can be all too easy to fail to notice when something goes wrong.
These scams can affect everybody, even the most diligent men and women. If you have been the victim of a scam, do not waste time. Contact an experienced attorney at Wintter & Associates today to start taking the necessary steps to protect your assets.
About the Author:
Christopher Q. Wintter is the founder of Wintter & Associates, P.A. and a board-certified expert in Trust and Estate matters by the Florida Bar. With more than 24 years’ experience as a practicing attorney, he also serves as an instructor and faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA)—the nation’s leading provider of legal advocacy skills training to practicing attorneys—and has earned the AV® Preeminent™ rating with LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell. He was also selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers for 2011 and 2012 in Estate and Trust Litigation.