Senior Scams Are on the Rise: Tips to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

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Have you ever received a suspicious phone call or email? Your parents or elderly relatives most likely have. Police and prosecutors say scams against seniors are on the rise nationwide.

New York City-based Melissa Negrin-Wiener, partner at Genser Cona Elder Law, notes that these are some common scams targeted towards older adults:

  1. Lottery phone scams in which callers convince seniors that a large fee or taxes must be paid before they can receive lottery winnings
  2. Grandparent scams which convince seniors that their grandchildren have been arrested and need bail money
  3. Romance scams which lull victims to believe that their online paramour needs funds for a U.S. visit or some other purpose
  4. IRS imposter schemes which defraud victims by posing as IRS agents and claiming that victims owe back taxes

Protect yourself and your loved ones with these tips:

  • Emails requesting personal information such as Social Security Numbers, bank routing numbers and credit card information should be considered suspicious. NEVER provide this information via e-mail!
  • Verify information provided by callers: if a caller says a loved one is in jail and needs help, call that loved one to verify the information.
  • Internal Revenue Service officials never call or email demanding immediate payment or threaten to call law enforcement for an outstanding tax bill.
  • Utility companies do not offer to come to your home to pick up cash for outstanding bills. 
  • Ask callers demanding money for outstanding bills for their supervisor’s contact information so you can determine if the call is legitimate.
  • Don’t believe promises of prizes. Don’t provide personal information to anybody promising lottery or contest winnings.

About Melissa Negrin-Wiener

Melissa Negrin-Wiener is a partner at Genser Cona Elder Law (https://www.genserlaw.com). Ms. Negrin-Wiener manages the Government Benefits Department, concentrating her practice in the areas of asset protection, Medicaid eligibility planning, estate planning, mediation, guardianships and Veteran benefits. She supervises the preparation of Medicaid Applications for nursing home care, home health care and community benefits, resolves complex Medicaid issues and represents families facing a reduction in Medicaid home care hours and services. 

About the Author Genser Cona Elder Law

Genser Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, disability planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective – satisfying the needs of our clients.