The holiday season is a time when scammers come out in full force. While scam artists never sleep, during this time of giving, many will take greater advantage of the elderly population.
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 very difficult to prosecute by the time they are reported. And while they may be considered low-risk crimes – they are devastating for those who are victimized.
The following are some typical scams and ways to identify them:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 bank account. Prosecuting these cases can be difficult.
There are many other ways that scammers can and will try to steal from you: lottery and sweepstakes scams, funeral and burial services scams, just to mention a few.
If you think that you may have been the victim of a scammer, please let someone know. Talk with someone whom you trust, and then report the crime – because it is a crime. 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.