Recently we presented an article on financial abuse of elderly. Today, we continue that theme by providing the first in a four (4) part series on the types of fraud attempts to which older adults often are subjected.
Why are some retirees from Western Kansas targeted for elder financial abuse and cons? In addition to slowing cognitive skills, some of these individuals have a significant amount of money sitting in their bank accounts and other financial investments, making them prime targets for swindlers. They tend to be retired, at home, answer their telephones and open their mail. According to a report by the Federal Trade Commission, 56% - 80% of telemarketing scams are directed toward senior citizens. Lest you be misled, wealthy, aging adults are not the only ones targeted. Low-income elders are at risk for financial abuse, as well. Their more precarious financial situation puts them at an even greater risk of loss of independence if the con-job is successful.
Think all scams are generated by Internet or telemarketing fraudsters? Think again. Professionals such as attorneys, financial advisers, insurance agents, and funeral homes have been found to manipulate
individuals for their own gain. While most professionals who work with aging clients are reputable and honest, there are still enough unethical individuals in these industries to warrant caution when it comes to parting with your money and personal information. Additionally, according to some statistics, family members can be instigators of financial elder abuse, because they already have a trust relationship.
One of the most prevalent types of scams targeted toward seniors is through telemarketing. The criminal is hoping his intended victim grew up believing it was impolite to hang up the phone on someone. He knows older adults are more likely to be lonely and willing to stay on the phone. So, for a scam artist, the longer he/she can keep you on the phone, the better chance he/she has of bilking you out of your money. Telemarketing scams have been around for years and yet we continue to hear of cases where elders are victimized in this manner. Some con-artists relentlessly call and harass a potential victim until they act against their better judgment and agree to the con artist’s offer.
Next week we’ll discuss how you can identify telemarketing scams and what precautions you and your loved ones can take to prevent becoming a fraud victim.
If you need a Western Kansas attorney, contact Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on estate planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
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