The holidays are often times when families check in with their older family members. Talking to your elderly relatives can be the best way to discover if they have fallen victim to or have been targeted by a financial scam.
A recent survey by Fidelity Investments revealed that although 60% of seniors have seen a friend lose their financial independence, only 9% believe that they will eventually lose theirs as well.
Senior citizens are scammed out of an estimated $3 million per year. Since most financial abuse goes unreported, this figure may be on the extreme low end.
The Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention says that the most popular scams to take advantage of the elderly are IRS scams, lottery scams, and sweetheart scams. There is also a lot of family originated elder abuse.
Hiya’s Robocall Radar report listed the following as the top scams:
These kinds of scams often involve “giving back to law enforcement, fire fighters, veterans, or their families.” Some popular offenders are ‘State Troopers Fund’, ‘Police Union’, and ‘Breast Cancer Survivor Charities’. These charity scams have risen 132% since this time last year.
Gift Card Scams
These are especially popular during the holidays. Victims are told that they have won a gift card, but first must pay ‘activation’ or ‘shipping and handling’ fees.
These kinds of scams will also entice victims by offering buy two get one free offers. Often, victims never see their cards arrive after payment. These kinds of scams have increased 162%.
One way to protect your elderly relatives from these kinds of robocall scams is by telling them to use their caller ID. If the number is an 800 number or a number they do not recognize, let them know they don’t have to answer.
If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today.