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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Three New Scams Aimed At Senior Citizens

Anyone can be the victim of a scam. Scam artists are very cunning and intelligent. They use technology to their advantage to gain information about seniors that help them to take advantage of seniors. California elder abuse lawyers can be instrumental in helping seniors avoid scams, or recover from them if they fall prey. Below are three popular scams that con artists are using to steal identities and obtain money from seniors.

Three Scams Aimed At Seniors in 2018

Scam artists and fraudsters are using a variety of techniques to scam senior citizens. Some of the new scams aimed at senior citizens use technology while other scams are focused on a person’s decreased cognitive state, fears, or love for a family member.

Some of the new scams aimed at senior citizens include:

  • New Medicare Cards: Medicare issued a notice that it will be sending new Medicare cards to participants between April 2018 and April 2019. According to the government, the cards are designed to reduce the risk of fraud and combat identity theft by removing the participant’s Social Security Number. The new Medicare cards are free, and a participant does not need to do anything to receive the new card except ensure that Medicare has a current mailing address. However, some scam artists are contacting seniors posing as government agents. The scammers explain that participants must purchase a replacement card to continue receiving Medicare benefits. If someone posing as a Medicare agent has contacted you or a loved one, call 1-800-447-8477 or file a report online.

  • Scams Related to the Internal Revenue Service: Anyone who receives a call from an IRS agent can become rattled, especially an older adult who is easily confused and frightened. Scammers are using the new tax laws to claim that the senior owes additional taxes. Some of these con artists are very talented. They use telephone numbers for a D.C. area code, and they research their target so that they have personal information that makes them appear to be an agent of the IRS. Some scammers use phishing emails to “notify” seniors that they are owed a tax refund because of changes in the tax laws. The emails direct the senior to confirm their identity by providing information, including their Social Security Number and date of birth. In some cases, the email may request bank account information so that the “IRS” can forward the refund to the person. Scammers may also call seniors on the telephone with this scam.

  • Judicial Scams: Threatening to arrest or imprison a senior is a popular scam to motivate the senior to provide their credit or debit card information over the telephone and authorize a charge. Scammers call the senior, usually from a local number to make it appear it is the court, claiming that the senior has an unpaid parking ticket, missed jury duty, or has an open court case. The scammer threatens to take the senior’s property or put the senior in jail if the fine is not paid immediately.

In another type of scam, the caller claims that the senior’s grandchild or other family member is in trouble. If a fine is not paid, the family member will be arrested.

Preventing Scams Aimed at Seniors

One of the best ways to help your loved one avoid scams is to discuss the above scams and other types of scams aimed at seniors with your loved one. You can find helpful information by visiting the websites for Consumer Reports, the National Council on Aging, and AARP.

California Elder Abuse Lawyers — Protecting Seniors

If you have questions about scams aimed at seniors or other matters related to elder care, please contact the Horizon Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorneys today to schedule a consult.


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