Common Financial Crimes against the Elderly

By Pete Lane, 8:00 am on

Financial fraud is a growing concern for many seniors and their families. Criminals are specifically targeting the elder population, preying on their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. At Home Care Assistance of Centennial, we believe that education is the first step in preventing financial fraud and have listed some of the common financial crimes against the elderly.

Unsolicited Offers for Prizes and Services

This is one of the most common scams targeting seniors. A caller will contact the senior, telling them they’ve won a prize or that there is a financial service that they can benefit from, such as a reverse mortgage. The caller then requests that the senior provide them with some personal information, as this is all that is needed to qualify for the “prize or service”. Unfortunately, many seniors share a wealth of personal information ranging from credit card and insurance information to Social Security and bank account numbers.

“Free” Equipment

Also referred to as Medicare or Medicaid fraud, scammers will pose as companies offering free medical equipment or supplies to the senior. After pushing the product as one that is not only necessary, but free, they will bill the senior for it. When it comes to light that a physician has not approved the order or that insurance will not cover it, the senior is responsible to cover the expense out-of-pocket.

Investment Opportunities

After retirement, many seniors live on fixed-incomes and many are interested in increasing the value of their estate to ensure they have sufficient funds through their golden years. Offenders and scammers know this and many cold call or go door-to-door asking seniors to invest in deals that guarantee unrealistically high profit in return. These can include investing in real estate, stocks or bonds and annuities. Unfortunately, the investments are often fake and the scammer takes the money for themselves.

By explaining the possible fraudulent situations and what to expect, you can help your loved one better identify a scam when it’s taking place. For more information about keeping a loved one safe in their home contact Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of hourly and live-in care in Centennial and provide reliable services to seniors and older adults in the comfort of home. Call 303-957-3100 for more information and speak with one of our friendly Care Managers today.