Scams targeting senior citizens are on the rise. And since 60 is the new 40, it is no longer only folks over 70 who are are being victimized. With baby boomers retiring, it is believed that seniors have more money than ever sitting in savings accounts. This, unfortunately makes them prime targets for ruthless scammers.
Financial scams often go unreported, and they can be particularly difficult to prosecute. They may be considered low-risk crimes, but they are devastating for those affected.
Here are some of the top scams and ways to identify them:
1. Medicare and Health Insurance: Americans over the age of 65 are covered by Medicare, which makes that a particularly easy target group for scammers looking for victims. Perpetrators may pose as Medicare representatives to get your personal information. They will then use this to file claims and steal prescriptions and money.
2. Internet Drugs: With better prescription drug prices often offered on the internet, many people are now ordering their drugs online. Just know, that you don’t always get what you pay for, and what you do receive may not be the drug you have ordered for your illness.
3. Anti-Aging Products: Botox is a popular anti-wrinkle injection. But labs are now coming up with their own varieties of the toxin that may not be the real thing. These fake Botox injections can cause pain and suffering, and will definitely drain your banks account. Prosecuting these cases can be difficult.
4. Reverse Mortgage Scams: A particular case in California describes how this can happen, never mind all of the commercials bombarding us. A fake company created letterhead resembling the county tax assessor’s office. The letter offered to homeowners a complimentary assessment for a “small fee”. Of course, once the “fee” was paid, the scammers made off in the dark of night.
These are just a few such scams hitting us today. There are lottery and sweepstakes scams, funeral home and burial scams, and unfortunately, many others. If you feel you have been the victim of such a scam, don’t be afraid to report it to someone you trust. Doing nothing will only make it worse.
There are many resources to help you, and you can find these by going to the federal elder care website.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.