Understanding Scams That Take Advantage of Elders

The swelling tide of baby boomers moving into their retirement years is creating opportunity for novel forms of elder care — and new ways to scam seniors.

As a group, the baby boomers treasure individuality and quality of life. As they age, the ambiance and services offered by retirement communities and caregivers is an appealing way to meet their needs. Unfortunately, the broad base of older Americans — estimated to form almost 20 percent of the population by 2030 — is largely unprepared to protect against elder abuse.

I discussed physical elder abuse earlier. A key tip-off to poor quality nursing care is the development or presence of pressure sores. But what about financial elder abuse? Too often signs of a scam artist are not noticed until money has long disappeared. If you have financially challenged elderly parents, understanding their vulnerability is important.

Consider:

  • Senior citizens make easy targets for criminals. Many seniors are uncomfortable turning down seemingly generous offers and are unaware that providing personal financial information to stranger can harm them economically. Seniors who live alone are fairly easy to spot and victimize by door-to-door con artists.
  • Consumer Reports recently wrote about forms of financial elder abuse including theft by caregivers or close relatives. A home-health aide may furtively remove valuables, or a seemingly helpful relative might rob a senior citizen into poverty.

If caring for an older parent, step in immediately if you suspect a scam and call a a personal injury attorney in Maryland at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. if you believe your loved one is abused or neglected.