Technology Is Making the Elderly Easy Prey for Scammers
Imagine your grandmother scrolling through her Facebook page, only to receive a message from you saying that you’re stranded in London and need $1,000 for a plane ticket home. She’s confused, as dementia has started setting in, and she doesn’t remember that you were traveling, but she willingly gives you her credit card number so you can get home.
Only, of course, it wasn’t you on the other end of the computer screen. It was a carefully cloned profile that looked just like yours. This is a common form of elder abuse, and we want you to be aware of how technology is playing a role in making these scams easier to implement.
Scams Involving the Elderly Are a Growing Problem
With the 60-and-older population growing exponentially, the number of elderly Americans who are getting scammed financially is also growing. Scams can take many different shapes and forms. Sometimes it’s an outright scam from a stranger who tricks the elderly adult into giving up some money, and other times it’s a loved one who coerces the elderly individual into changing his will or giving money over prior to death, but these scams aren’t new. What is new is the prevalence of technology that’s making it easier than ever for scammers to access the elderly. All it takes is one carefully formed email, message or text for someone to scam your loved one.
Learn to Watch for Signs
Since you can’t manage your elderly loved one’s Facebook page and other online activities, the best way to combat this problem is to be vigilant for signs of abuse. Large, sudden withdrawals without a clear purpose are a red flag. If your loved one is indicating another family member is taking a keen interest in their finances or asking to see their accounts, you need to take notice. Finally, if an elderly loved one is considering signing on someone as a power of attorney or signing over their assets to another individual, then there could be fraud occurring.
If you see any of these red flags, you need to talk to an elder abuse attorney right away. Call Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 for a free case review.