As you grow older you become increasingly at risk to fall victim to fraud, scams, and financial abuse. Currently, adults over the age of 65 comprise a large percentage of the current U.S. population. While both young and old individuals are targeted by these scams, older individuals fall victim at a higher rate.  On average seniors lost approximately $1,000.00 per incident in 2017, compared to $400.00 lost by those in their twenties. The current majority of victims of financial fraud range between the ages of 80 and 89. Despite this fact, only about one in forty cases of financial elder abuse ever get reported.

As you consider estate planning, trusts, wills, and probate, it can be to your benefit to make yourself and your family aware of common fraudulent practices. It is not only common for scammers to target the elderly but also estate executors and family members of the recently deceased. Whatever the situation may be, it is a wise course of action to verse yourself in terms of various strides to mitigate scams. Being informed of these practices can allow you to shield yourself from the risk of fraud or financial duress. Asking yourself these questions may assist yourself or a loved one from falling into a financial trap.

How were you contacted?

There are certain traits of common scams. One tip off may be the manner in which you were contacted. If you were contacted randomly by phone or by an unfamiliar email account, this may be reason to feel alarmed.

Does everything seem too good to be true?

Scammers typically try to attract you with offers that seem too good to be true. For example, offering a 60% off coupon to your local convenience store. Another common scam is to receive a message from a friend on Facebook offering governmental grants. Be wary of messages you receive that seem out of character for the friend you are receiving them from. In these situations it is important to trust your gut and investigate further into the offer.

Are you familiar with the individual or the means in which you are being contacted?

Scammers commonly utilize websites to reach potential targets. They can seem like a friend or confident but they use this to get you to trust them. Be cautious when utilizing websites you are unfamiliar with and speaking with people you don’t know.

If you are afraid that you may have fallen victim to one of these scams, contact our offices at (330) 673-3444 to speak with an experienced attorney who may be able to help.