What you should know about elder financial scams

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2018 | Firm News

You care about your parents but sometimes you might worry about them. Unfortunately, there are some people in the world who might want to take advantage of your parents in their old age.

Financial scams and exploitation are one way your parents might be in danger. Many scams and con jobs are centered on elderly people. In fact, it was reported that one in 20 older adults were the victim of some sort of financial mistreatment in their recent past. Further, only one in 44 financial abuse cases on elderly people is even reported, so these statistics may be even higher.

These financial scams can have a devastating effect on your parents. If your parents are taken advantage of, they could lose their savings and their future.

Why are older people targeted?

Older people are commonly victims of financial abuse for a few reasons. Retired people generally have a fair amount of savings and are more likely to own their home. This makes them a good target for financial exploitation because they have the resources that scammers want.

There is also a stereotype of elderly people as more trusting and willing to go along with a con. This is another reason they might be a good target for a financial scam, because an older person may be more likely to believe a story from a stranger.

What are common scams?

There are a few more common scams that you should be aware of. Be vigilant, and if your parents seem to be involved in a plan that sounds similar to any of these financial scams you should take proper precautions to protect your family.

  • Lottery and sweepstakes – Mail or email stating you have won a prize, but need to send money to cover the taxes
  • Home repair – Someone says they can perform maintenance on your home for low cost
  • Grandparents – People posing as a doctor or police officer, asking for money to help your grandchild
  • Charity – False charities where the funds do not go where intended
  • Email – Emails about bank accounts or problems with your credit card that are not true and used to gain access to your personal information

Unfortunately, these financial scams are relatively common and could affect your family. If you think your parents are being taken advantage of, there are steps you should take to address this. Being aware of the signs and potential of these, and other financial scams could help you protect your family from senseless harm.


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The Law Office of William C. Wombacher

Local: 309-674-8125
Fax: 309-674-8149

Commerce Bank Building
416 Main Street Suite 700
Peoria, IL 61602
NELF | National Elder Law Foundation
CAP | Council of Advanced Practitioners | NAELA | National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
Illinois State Bar Association