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  • Writer's pictureWorley Elder Law

Advocating For Elders In Your Community To Help Avoid Scams

Do you live in a community with a large number of aging elders? Do you also care for an aging loved one? Do you work with seniors or visit seniors or interact with the senior community in any way? If you do, you need to be aware of the many scams that are actively targeting our vulnerable aging adults. Your awareness of the seniors in your community and the knowledge of the scams that could target them can go a long way in protecting and advocating for them.

Unfortunately, as a community, aging Americans are perceived to be less sharp with technology, more susceptible to emotionally manipulative scams and having money readily available. Sadly, this is one of the reasons why there is a rising trend of Older Americans being targeted by financial exploitation schemes. These financial scammers connect with seniors through mail, email, the internet directly, and over the phone. The goal of the scammer is to access money, assets and the private information of the senior.

We would like to help you understand the scams that are out there right now. We want you to be able to better advocate for your aging loved one and the seniors that you work with or meet or visit on a daily basis. We would like to share a few of the trending scams impacting aging seniors right now.

1. The IRS scam. One of the most virulent scams today is the IRS scam. Through the IRS scam, the scammer will reach out and contact the Older American to inform him or her that he or she has unpaid taxes. The amount may be small or large but the goal of the criminal is to get access to the income or assets of the aging senior. The scammer will not only threaten to place a tax lien on the senior’s house but also may threaten jail time. Remember the following: the IRS will not call you! If you are the target of such a call do not wait to report the call to the FBI Elder Fraud division. Also, contact the IRS, your accountant or your Florida estate planning attorney directly if you have questions.

2. The hurricane insurance scam. Most people have heard of the hurricane repair scam but there is also a hurricane insurance scam. This scam involves individuals telling Florida seniors that in exchange for money now, the company will be available to the seniors should a new hurricane cause damage to their homestead. If you want to purchase hurricane insurance be sure to do your research first. You do not want to engage with a company that is not reputable and will not be able to protect you in the future. There are many predators out there making a tremendous amount of money on this type of scam against senior Floridians right now.

3. The Medicare scam. Every year thousands of our aging Americans are targeted with Medicare scams. These scammers offer help with Medicare co-payments, prescription drug costs, and even out-of-pocket medical expenses. The most important thing to remember about this scam is to not believe the person who contacts you by mail or over the phone. Instead, work with a reputable agent who knows the type of benefits available to you and learn the deadlines for when you can or cannot apply for coverage. The Medicare website itself is a tremendous resource for you to use in answering your questions.

4. The caregiver scam. The caregiver scam may be one of the saddest and most devastating scams for Florida seniors. Through this scam, the caregiver obtains money in exchange for services, sometimes provided and sometimes not, in order to gain access to the seniors income, assets, and private information. Many times, this person is placed in a position of trust with the senior. It is crucial that those of us who are around aging seniors or caring for a loved one be wary of people who offer to provide care, even in a long-term care facility, they may be at risk.

When it comes to dealing with potential scammers who would try to harm seniors in your community, or your know, or your aging loved one, always be suspicious. Although it can be hard at times, always reach out and get the help, advice and assistance you need.

Do you have questions? Whether you're young and single or a married five-time great grandparent, your voice and wishes need to be known. Worley Elder Law, based in beautiful Bradenton, Florida, focuses on helping you understand your options in designing your Estate Plan or Elder Law needs. Whether it's preventative incapacity planning or establishing your legacy, we will take the time to explain every option and work with you to create a customized plan just as unique as you and your family are. Please do not hesitate to contact us to let us help you.


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