Fraud is a Crime: Spotting Scams that Target Vulnerable Seniors
Although online scams are often trivialized, in fact, online scamming is fraud according to the FBI. Fraud can either violate civil or criminal law, depending on the situation and your state. Sadly, seniors are often the targets of online scams as this demographic may be less technologically savvy than others. Here are some common types of scam that target senior citizens. Read on to make yourself aware and to protect yourself or the seniors you care about.
The National Council on Aging tells us that seniors are often targeted by medical scammers. In the US, every citizen over 65 is covered by Medicaid. While this is often great news for seniors, a downside is that it is unnecessary for a scam artist to find out what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money. Typically, the scam artist will pose as Medicaid and send an email asking for the senior’s person or financial information and then use that information to get ahold of the senior’s money.
Reverse mortgage scams
Reverse mortgages help seniors live comfortably in old age and anyone over the age of 62 can apply. Legally, a reverse mortgage is a financial agreement in which a homeowner relinquishes equity in their home in exchange for regular payments. Unfortunately, although this system was created to help seniors, some people are scamming seniors using reverse mortgages, often taking advantage of them when they are most vulnerable. In one form of this scam, the scam artist finds seniors who are in danger of losing their homes due to foreclosure. The scam artist then convinces the senior to get a reverse mortgage to save the property but will then inform the elderly person that they do not qualify. The senior citizen will then be encouraged to take out a traditional mortgage instead, at which point the property and its equity will get transferred to the perpetrator. As you can see, often these scam artists are very well informed in both civil and criminal law. Vigilance is needed to catch them.
Unfortunately, although modern technology and today’s sophisticated legal system have made a lot of things easier, they have also opened up more opportunities for scam artists. It is a fact of life these days that people will attempt to scam seniors. The best defense is to stay informed and aware.
Sally Writes <[email protected]> / January 22, 2018