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Elder Abuse: Financial Scams

Financial exploitation of the elderly has emerged as a common and difficult issue because seniors are more vulnerable due to medical needs, diminished mental capacity and often times they have more financial resources to exploit.

Read on to learn more about some examples of financial elder abuse so you can be prepared to identify a potential scam.

In Health Insurance Scams the perpetrator will pose as a Medicare agent or healthcare professional in order to access a victim’s personal information.  The personal information is then used to bill Medicare for services that were never provided to the victim and the perpetrator collects the insurance money.

Prescription Drug Fraud is most commonly operated on the internet where seniors will purchase counterfeit medication for a premium cost.  These medications are not regulated by the FDA and could cause serious health risks.

In Obituary Scams the perpetrator will gather information from an obituary and extort money from the grieving spouse.  The widow or widower is pressured into paying the scammer in order to settle fake debts incurred by the deceased.

Telemarketing Fraud is one of the most common schemes targeting the elderly today.  Victims are lured into making bogus purchases or to make donations to fake charities.  These scams don’t require in-person interaction and with no paper trail, they are very hard to trace.

A number of Investment Schemes are designed to target the elderly who are looking to safeguard their retirement funds.  Be wary of suspicious mail and email about complex financial products.

Lottery Scammers will inform the victim that they have won a sweepstakes and will need to make a payment to cover any fees associated with redeeming the prize.  The check the victim receives as his or her prize money bounces and the criminal will pocket the fees.

Financial scams are becoming a prevalent form of elder abuse that often go unreported.  These scams can have devastating consequences for seniors and can leave them in very vulnerable situations.  It is not only wealthy seniors who fall prey to these scams; lower income individuals are also at risk.  It is also important to be aware that many of these types of crimes are perpetrated, not by a stranger, but by someone the victim knows. 

If you suspect that you or your loved ones are at risk of falling prey to a financial scam, we can help.  We are proactive lawyers who help you plan for your future, to preserve both your health and your wealth.

To discuss your specific needs and to find out how we at Fingeret Law can help you, please call us at 412.281.8222 or contact us online.

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