Elder fraud scams in Pennsylvania are cruel. Not only do the scam artists convince you to part with your hard-earned money, of which you may have less than the fraudster supposes if you are living on a fixed income, but often they also betray your trust. Anyone can become the victim of a phone or internet scam, but according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, fraudsters most frequently target elderly people, believing them to be more trusting and more willing to listen. Not every senior citizen fits this profile, but enough do to make it worthwhile for the fraudsters to continue to target your generation.
Understanding the tactics a scam artist might use against you is a good way to protect yourself. There are many schemes that fraudsters employ against elderly people, but these are a few of the most common.
- Post-Death scams
You and your family may be vulnerable following the death of a loved one. Unfortunately, fraudsters can use this to their advantage. They show up after the funeral demanding immediate payment on an outstanding debt in the name of the deceased. However, there is no debt. The scam artist takes the information he needs from your loved one’s obituary.
- Investment scams
You may have saved all your life for your retirement. Someone claiming to be a financial advisor offers to reinvest your savings in an account that will gain a higher yield. Though it may seem that this person has your interests at heart, he or she will likely skip town with the money as soon as you hand it over.
- Medicare scams
The fraudster calls claiming to be a Medicare representative and asks for your Medicare identification number or other personal information. Once he or she has the information, the fraudster turns around and bills Medicare for fraudulent services. Believing the claim to be legitimate, Medicare pays the claim, and the money goes right into the fraudster’s pocket.
Depending on the type of scam, the fraudster may use different tactics. Some may try to threaten and intimidate you, while others will act friendly to try to gain your confidence. In either case, the fraudster will try to convince you that you stand to benefit, or avoid adverse consequences, if you act right away.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.