Fraud Against Seniors
September 4, 2018
Financial scams targeting seniors are on the rise. Seniors are a common target for many thieves for many reasons including:
- They are more likely to have a “nest egg”, own their home and have excellent credit.
- The elderly often make poor witnesses if they have bad memory.
- They were generally raised to be polite and trusting, traits which con artists like to exploit.
- They are less likely to report a scam as they are likely to be ashamed or not even know they have been scammed.
Typical elderly scams involve:
- Cemetery and Funeral Scams
- Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
- Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products
- Health Insurance/Medicare Scams
- Homeowner/Reverse Mortgage Scams
- Internet Fraud
- Investment Schemes
- Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams
Monitor Financial Health
To make sure your loved ones haven’t been victim of fraud it is important to stay on top of finances and credit reports.
You will want to monitor credit reports from the three main agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can check your loved one’s credit report for free each year. Check the report for: consistency, close out accounts which your loved one no longer uses, read over each report and identify any information that doesn’t seem accurate. You can place a credit free through the reporting agencies if your loved one no longer manages their finances.
Carefully review your loved ones accounts by looking over all the income and expenses. Make sure all of the income is accounted for and necessary expenses are taken care of. This is important to do not only for bank accounts but also any credit card accounts.
Financial scams too often go unreported, so follow the steps above to monitor your loved ones finances and if they are thought to be victim of fraud seek help. The United States Special Committee on Aging provides resources and information on fraud and if you suspect fraud you can contact them.