Not Your Typical Elder Law Firm

State law enforcement officials warn of scams targeting seniors

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Financial Abuse |

Make no mistake – scammers are thieves. In many cases, they target people who tend to be trusting or at least unaware of the tricks people will use to try to take as much of their money as they can get. They often prey on people who aren’t especially tech-savvy and don’t realize how often an email or text isn’t legitimate. Seniors are often the targets of these scams, and there are new ones all the time.

Recently, California law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Rob Bonta, held a press conference to talk about scams targeting seniors, which he called “elder abuse.” Bonta talked about his other mother losing money in two different types of scams.

Some scammers claim to be law enforcement

Many scammers count on seniors who use email and text but often can’t distinguish a genuine message – particularly from a bank or a company like Amazon – from a fraudulent one. Some are even claiming to be with law enforcement. One police chief says, “Law enforcement will never call you or text you in an attempt to get money from you.”

Typically, these scams involve tricking or even bullying seniors into giving out their bank account data, credit card numbers and other personal information. Some scammers even claim to be friends or relatives who need money immediately.

According to the AG, “Each year older adults lose nearly $3 billion dollars to financial frauds and schemes.” The amount of money lost has grown some 84% in just the last two years.

A wide variety of scams

It’s not just online and phone scams that can trick seniors out of their money. People also defraud seniors by:

  • Cashing a check for them, but taking a portion of the money
  • Overcharging for home repairs
  • Telling them they’ve won a sweepstake or lottery but need to pay money or provide confidential information to get their winnings

Too often, seniors who realize they’ve been scammed are too embarrassed to report it. However, it’s important to understand that you’re by no means alone. No one should be ashamed to be the victim of a crime.

If you or a loved one has been defrauded, it’s important to get legal guidance. This can help you seek justice and compensation and help prevent others from becoming victims.

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