And there’s a reason that, as elder law attorneys in Indiana, we at Geyer & Associates are constantly “preaching” about the need for vigilance in fighting financial scams aimed at parting seniors and their hard earned financial resources.
Some of the more common scams mentioned on the www.in.gov site include:
- Phony sweepstakes and lotteries. You receive a notice by mail that’s you’ve won the Canadian Lottery, asking for a “small” amount to cover the tax on your winnings.
- Charges for home repair services you’ve not initiated.
- Promises to return lost money, charging a fee for recovery.
- Property tax exemption offers for seniors.
- Phony offers of medical devices or other products.
- Calls or emails purporting to be from a relative or friend in trouble who needs money sent immediately.
- “Nigerian letter” scams
- Ponzi schemes
- Funeral and cemetery care fraud
- Fraudulent anti-aging products
- Reverse mortgage scams
- Unnecessary lab tests (“rolling labs”)
The FBI is on alert as well, and the agency’s Common Fraud Schemes web page provides specific tips for seniors (and for their concerned adult children) for avoiding different categories of fraud:
Avoid healthcare fraud by:
- Never signing bank forms
- Reviewing bills
- Providing insurance and Medicare ID information to only providers of services
- Keeping records of all healthcare appointments
Avoid telemarketing fraud by:
- Obtaining salespersons’ mailing address, telephone number, and license numbers before transaction business
- Not paying for services in advance
- by Corinna A. Smith of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates