Today elder abuse is on the rise. Why partly because it is so easy to do and there are so many elders to take advantage of? If you talk to the fraud department they will tell you that in many cases there is nothing they can do to stop what is going on.
What is going on you ask? Well for one the scams that target innocent and trusting seniors. There are other types of elder abuse as well such as the emotional and physical abuses thrust upon seniors. This month’s article will focus on the scams that are running rampart out there.
Recently I had a situation with one of my clients and her mother. My client’s mother had recently become widowed and was in her late 80s still living in the family home alone. My client’s mother decided to have a little work done on her home and so she hired some handy men to come and do the work. In the beginning some of the work was getting done. After a while these handy men decided to test the waters by asking for a small loan. They would pay the money back in short order.
Before they paid back the money they would borrow a little more giving a good excuse of why they needed the money and reassuring the naïve widow that they would pay the money back soon. This went on for months. Always an excuse, but always reassuring that the money would get paid back. Eventually they just stopped doing any work but kept on borrowing money with more and more elaborate excuses. When they fully had the seniors trust they were able to get the bank card and pin. Well I am sure you can guess what happened next.
All the money that the widow received from her husband’s death and some smaller amounts of money at other financial institutions were cashed out and deposited to her bank. This was the opportunity the scam artists needed to clean out the bank account. Not only did all the widow’s life savings disappear but these crooks started targeting the monthly senior’s pensions. These crooks knew exactly when cheques were being deposited in the account and they were ready to clean out the account. By the time my client realized what was happening to her mother and the life savings, it was too late. Everything was gone. The police were called but they could not do anything because the client willing gave the card and the money.
In the end the house had to be sold because the mother could not afford to keep it. Besides the house would have been the next thing targeted. So the moral of the story is make sure if you have seniors in your life that you know what is going on so they are not the target of some scam artists.