Boston, MA- The elderly are vulnerable to variety of abuses in long-term care facilities or their own homes. But, by far, the most common form of elder abuse in the U.S. is financial exploitation, robbing seniors if billions of dollars each year. And, sadly, many cases go undetected and unreported, leaving too many seniors in deep financial trouble, sometimes penniless.
Because they are often lonesome and more trustworthy, the elderly make prime targets for greedy, unscrupulous individuals who just want to take their money. These scammers, most likely strangers, assume the elderly have large amounts of cash at their disposal and know how to prey on their weaknesses. Scammers like to target seniors who are lonely, isolated or may suffer a mental or physical disability.
Here we will discuss four of the more common financial scams that target Boston’s elderly citizens and could leave them financially destitute.
Many scammers pose as telemarketers to get and keep seniors on the phone. This age is make twice as many purchases over the phone than younger generations who often shop online. The fact that many elderly persons are lonely and desperate for someone to talk gives these scammers the leverage they need to con an elderly person out of their hard-earned savings. Some scammers convince the elderly a loved one has been in a car accident and they need to send money. Some scammers use charity causes, such as natural disasters, to get seniors to send them money.
It’s unimaginable, but there are people who won’t think twice about capitalizing in a person’s death. The elderly often become the victims of funeral and cemetery scams. There are fraudsters who will approach a senior at a funeral and convince them to pay their deceased loved one’s debts. Or, an unethical funeral director may convince a senior to pay for costly and unnecessary funeral expenses. For example, a funeral director insist need a vault when all they really need is a cardboard or display casket.
The internet is great and there are plenty of seniors who have embraced the World Wide Web and stay in touch via social media. But the internet is also a tool that makes it easy for people to get very sensitive information about a person. It can be easily used to steal someone’s identity, clean out their bank accounts and run up tons of debt in a senior’s name. Because they are not as savvy with computers, it easy for them to fall for common online tricks that give outsiders access to all the information stored on a computer.
It’s an ugly truth, but most people who abuse the elderly are their loved ones. Family members are more likely than strangers to neglect, physically and emotionally abuse and financially exploit elderly persons. In many cases, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other family members will approach their elderly relative asking for money, sometimes large amounts. They can come up with plenty of reasons why they need help and just take and take. Sometimes they manage to get access to their loved one’s accounts and soon clean them out.
These are just a few of the more common scams perpetrated on the elderly. This is just skimming the surface and there are plenty of clever ways for scammers to take advantage of your elderly loved one. If you know a senior who has been financially exploited, USAttorneys can connect you with a nursing home abuse attorney located in your area. They can evaluate your case and decide what legal course of action you have.
It is possible in some cases for the victims of financial exploitation to recoup some of their losses and our team of nursing home abuse attorneys serving Boston can help.