A common financial abuse scam against the elderly is a call from someone allegedly representing the IRS demanding tax payments with threats of penalties. These calls often are received late at night and can be very confusing to anyone, but particularly disturbing to an elder living alone. The elderly are reticent to report if they are the victim of a phone scam. (see: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-protection/preventing-elder-abuse/index.htm).
We have all heard that elders are susceptible to financial scams over the telephone, but often it is hard for a younger person to understand how someone falls for a scam from a stranger. The November, 2015 issue of Consumer Reports breaks down how a telephone scam works, in addition to other informative articles on elder financial abuse. The article "Anatomy of a Swindle" explains how the Jamaica Lottery scam targets and exploits its elderly victims by phone. The process is likely similar in other phone scams where elders are told they won something, but have to pay to get it. Click here to read the article: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-protection/anatomy-of-a-swindle
As our parents age, we often look to third parties or other family members to assist them in their financial management and daily care. Our parents can become susceptible to the suddenly attentive neighbor or "friend," or even a relative, taking an inappropriate interest in the elder's affairs. Sometimes, out of pride or shame, an elder will be reticent to admit to anyone that they may have made a mistake trusting someone they shouldn't have.
We are pleased to announce that attorney Deena Zacharin has joined our firm. Adding Deena to our firm signals our growth into a full-service elder law firm, providing services from the estate planning stage through our long-recognized advocacy for elders who have experienced physical and financial abuse.
Have you heard about the grandparent scam? A stranger will call up an elderly person, usually late at night, claiming to be their "favorite" grandson or granddaughter and asking for help. The caller will say there has been an emergency (usually, that they are out of the country in jail) and that they need gramps or grandma to send money ASAP and to keep it hush hush from the rest of the family.