Common Scams Used to Deceive the Elderly

Financial scams targeting seniors have become more and more common. In fact, these scams are so prevalent that some people have dubbed them “the crime of the 21st century.” Because financial scams often go unreported and are sometimes difficult to prosecute, many criminals consider them to be a “low-risk” crime. Unfortunately, these scams can be devastating for older adults and often leave them in a vulnerable position. In this blog, we explain some the more common scams that are used to deceive the elderly.

Medicare & Health Insurance Scams

Perpetrators of this kind of scam usually pose as a Medicare representative in order to get older people to give them their personal information. Sometimes they offer bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics and will use an elderly person’s information to bill Medicare and pocket the money.

Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

Most counterfeit drug scams operate through the internet. This is because senior citizens tend to search online for better prescription drug prices. Since 2000, the FDA has investigated an average of 20 such cases per year. This is up from 5 a year in the 1990s.

Funeral & Cemetery Scams

Sometimes a scammer will read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage a grieving widow or widower. To extort money, these scammers will often claim that the deceased had an outstanding debt with them. This is done to try to get the relatives of the deceased to settle the fake debt.

Telemarketing & Phone Scams

Senior citizens make twice as many purchases over the phone than the national average. Because of this, they are a prime target for over the phone financial scams. Because there is no face-to-face interaction, and no paper trail, these scams are incredibly difficult to trace.

Do you have more questions about financial scams that target the elderly? Contact our Queens County elder law attorney to learn how we can help you today.


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