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Mar 2016

Special Feature by Novy & Assoc.; Identify Scams



“Tips for Identifying and Avoiding Senior Fraud Scams”

We unfortunately live in a world where certain individuals have decided to take advantage of generous, good-hearted people by attempting to scam them out of their belongings.  People of all ages can be victims of such deceptions; however, one of the most targeted demographics for fraudulent scams is senior citizens.  Certain types of scams take advantage of current technologies which many seniors may not be savvy with; some elderly victims may become easily confused or distracted by a deceptive scammer. There are several popular types of scams that are commonly used by criminals to separate seniors from their hard-earned savings.    


Medicare or Health Insurance Fraud.  Sometimes a scammer will contact a senior under the guise of a Healthcare worker and offer to provide specialized services at a reduced rate.  In order to provide such “services”, the scammer will usually tell the victim that personal information, including Social Security numbers or credit card information, must be given over the phone.  Once provided, the scammer will easily be able to use this information to conduct identity theft or make unauthorized purchases well before the victim is aware anything has occurred.  


Internet Fraud.  While many seniors are adept at navigating the Internet, many more are incapable of discerning legitimate websites from fraudulent ones.  While a pop-up advertisement or website link may seem to be the real deal, sometimes clicking on the wrong link has the potential to unleash a computer virus that can wipe your computer clean or, even worse, collect all your personal data.  Fraudulent emails can also be a concern, especially those which ask for money or personal information.  Some emails even contain requests from fake charities or relief funds which attempt to solicit donations from charitable seniors.


“Grandparent Scam.”  Beware of phone calls from grandchildren or other relatives asking for money, as this is another prevalent technique used by scammers who prey on the generosity of seniors.  A common tactic is for a scammer to call a victim and say, “Do you know who this is?”  If the senior names a grandchild or relative who happens to sound like the scammer, then the criminal now has a name to use when requesting money.  Usually the scammer will ask for money to assist with a dire situation, which most grandparents are usually eager to help resolve.



This is by no means an exhaustive list of the many scams which currently exist.  As a general rule, always remain vigilant and be sure to question any claims that may seem too good to be true.  Try to never give out personal information unless you’re absolutely sure of who you are giving it to; when in doubt, it can’t hurt to take your time and verify.  Hopefully this list will create a greater sense of caution that may one day help you or your loved ones avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

If you have any questions in regards to this or any other Elder Law topic, please call our office at 732-657-0600. And please be sure to listen to Inside the Law, broadcast every other Saturday from 10-11am on 1160 and 1310 WOBM AM radio.


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