Protecting California Seniors from Elder Exploitation Scams

Elder exploitation continues to be on the rise across America. It targets Older Americans as a generation with specific scams designed to emotionally manipulate them and cause them to take an intended action. “Older Americans” is a generational descriptive term that describes Americans over the age of sixty years old.


These scammers believe that individuals in this generation are more susceptible to scams. This is based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the fact that seniors open their mail and read it, may know less about current scams than others and, as a whole, tend to be more trusting. While this does not describe every senior within the generation, these are characteristics that criminals are relying on for exploitation purposes.


We want to share with you several of the scams we know are on the rise right now for Older Americans. Our hope is that through this education on the possible exploitation that could impact you and the seniors you love, you will be better positioned to avoid an attack.


1. The IRS Scam. Even though tax season has just ended, the IRS scams have not. In the scams, the perpetrator calls the victim pretending to be the IRS. He or she will tell the victim that money is owed immediately or a serious consequence, such as a lien or the person’s house, will occur. We want you to know that the IRS does not call people. If you receive a call like this, record the phone number and report it.


2. The Fire Damage Scam. In the fire damage scam, contractors will come to your home or place of business and offer to do work for you. Be very careful who you choose to hire. There are a number of fake contractors, repairmen and companies who will accept your money but not provide the services you need. Before you hire someone, research your options to ensure this is a company who will perform the work you hire it to do.


3. The Grandparent Scam. The grandparent scams continue to be one of the most successful scams against seniors. In this scam, the perpetrator uses a caller who sounds young and vulnerable on the phone to call the senior and pretend to be a loved one in trouble. These scammers will call the senior at a time when he or she is likely to be caught off guard such as late at night or very early in the morning. There will be a request for money to be wired immediately. Although it is difficult, do not comply with this request. Instead, take down the phone number of “your grandchild” and call your grandchild’s parents to confirm the situation.


We know how hard it is to be faced with elder exploitation and scams. Do not wait to share this article with those you love to help them protect themselves from exploitation. If you have questions or need to start planning to protect yourself, do not wait to contact us.

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