America’s senior citizens are often the targets of some of the most deceptive criminals in the nation. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts alone, financial scams which involve senior citizens and the elderly have become all to common over the last ten years. A recent letter from the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys cautions senior citizens as well as those who care for them about some of the scams which plague our elderly. While everyone has heard of the last scam involving credit cards at Target, credit card scams are just one of the many ways which criminals take advantage of older citizens who may seem to be easy targets. While these Americans should be worried about retirement planning, they have to deal with having their senior credit cards stolen and such. If you or a senior citizen that you love has been the victim of a scam, contact Elder Law, Retirement, and Life Planning Attorney Patricia Bloom-McDonald.
Senior Citizens Targeted in ID Theft and Other Scams
According to the Social Security Administration, there are over ten thousand people who turn sixty-five years old every day in the United States. With that many of our citizens becoming senior citizens each and every day, the opportunity to take advantage of them grows as well. Many of these older Americans are not aware of these types of scams such as identity theft or credit card schemes. They are also not usually as computer literate as others, and may not understand how easily their identity can be stolen from such devices. Also, senior citizens are often more trusting by nature, and thus easily taken advantage of. Aside from identity theft and credit card fraud, here are a few other scams that often target our older citizens:
- Medicare Fraud – There are sadly many fake companies which were created with the sole purpose of scamming senior citizens on Medicare. They offer medical equipment or other products, and seniors give up their Medicare information to order these products. These scam artists can then use this information to steal the identity of the victim, or to make fraudulent Medicare claims.
- Phone Scams – There are various ways that a scam artist can use a simple telephone call to take advantage of the elderly. Phone calls which offer prize giveaways, sell products or services, or even those which claim to be government employees can be scams. Never give your personal information such as Social Security Number, birth date, or bank account information to anyone over the phone unless you are sure of who they are.
- Tax Fraud – Often, scam artists will use any of the above methods, or different ones, to gain the personal information of a victim, and then use that information to collect tax returns in the name of the victim. Sadly, it can often be friends or family who gets your personal information and uses it to scam you. Always be careful with any information which can be used against you in these ways.
Senior citizen scams are sadly becoming more and more common in Massachusetts and the rest of the US. If you or someone you love may have been the victim of such a scam, or if you have given your information to someone and fear you may soon be a victim, give Elder Law Attorney Patricia Bloom-McDonald a call today at 781-712-4709.