Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bad Connection: Financial Elder Abuse Telephone Scams

How can the elderly be protected from financial elder abuse?

Today’s elderly folks come from what’s known as the “Greatest Generation”--those who came of age during the Great Depression and who are the parents of the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers are not only often caretakers for their elderly parents, but are themselves rapidly joining their parents among the ranks of the nation’s senior citizens.

Today’s elderly grew up in a very different world. In general, many lived through difficult times, they struggled and worked hard for their pay, they sacrificed and did without luxuries. They helped their neighbors. They had honor, respect, morals, and an admirable work ethic. Many never went to college or even finished high school. They made America great, earned their way, and-- over the course of a lifetime-- they saved their hard-earned pennies for retirement. Technology is beyond the grasp or interest of many of the elderly, who are generally simple people. Simple, trusting people.

Unfortunately, you can’t afford to trust people these days. But the elderly are wired for trust. And when you combine that blind trust with an aging mind, it’s a recipe for elder abuse.

Take the recent incident in Santa Clara where a scam artist posed as an IRS agent and duped an elderly victim out of a few thousand dollars. By threatening jail if nearly $6,000 in unpaid taxes was not immediately transferred, the bogus agent on the phone walked the victim through two of 3 intended Money gram transfers, each totaling between $1,000-$2000, before the police got involved.

In addition to financial elder abuse, the elderly are also subject to emotional and physical elder abuse. Sadly, people suffer each day from elder abuse at the hands of scam artists, leaving them and their life savings and retirement income vulnerable to these predators. Even worse, loved ones or professionals trusted with an elder’s care can also victimize the elderly.

Elder abuse law encompasses several different legal disciplines which are relevant to issues facing senior citizens, including estate planning, business succession planning, asset protection, Medicaid planning and veterans benefits. That’s why it’s important to consult an attorney who specializes in elder abuse when making or updating your estate plan, or when concerned about the abuse of an elderly loved one.

The California attorneys at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge are committed to assisting clients in estate planning designed to prevent or minimize the possibility of financial elder abuse. We also help clients involved in financial, emotional and physical elder abuse incidents.  

The Law Offices of Berge & Berge in San Jose, California, is a South Bay estate planning and public benefits law firm. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in all areas of elder abuse law. If you are in need of or have a question regarding elder abuse, contact The Law Offices of Berge & Berge today at (408) 985-9918 or online here.

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