Every day over 10,000 Baby Boomers turn sixty years old. As a generation, seniors who are over sixty years old are titled “Older Americans.” In 1983, President Carter created May as National Older Americans Month.
During this month, professionals across the nation work together to bring awareness to issues that impact us as we age. From healthcare and medical coverage to finances and long-term care challenges, there is much to cover. While most of us do not want to be labeled as “Older Americans”, we need to take the time to realize how this group of individuals are targeted.
There are a number of marketing campaigns and resources targeted specifically at Older Americans. Many of them provide legitimate services for seniors. Unfortunately, there are also an increasing number of scams being developed that target this generation. We want to share several of the most prevalent scams right now and tips you can use to avoid them.
1. The insurance scam. Right now, there is a growing trend across the nation of scammers who target seniors with insurance products. From life insurance to home insurance, car insurance and credit card fraud insurances, there are over seventeen insurance scams targeted at Older Americans. While insurance may be a protection you would like to purchase with good reason, be sure to do your research on the company. Make sure the company you plan to work with is reputable and can actually provide the coverage it promises.
2. The tax lien scam. No matter what time of year it is, the tax lien scam is a very popular scam that especially targets Older Americans. In this scam, the senior receives a telephone call telling him or her that taxes are unpaid and a lien will be placed against their home, their car, or other assets unless payment is made immediately. If you receive this telephone call hang up the phone. Do not call the person back if he or she leaves you a message. Instead, contact the IRS directly and know the fact that the IRS will never call you. It will communicate through the mail.
3. The jury duty scam. The jury duty scam is on the rise. In this scam, the senior receives a telephone call, email, or phone call advising him or her of the need to report for jury duty on a specific date. There is a caveat, however, that if the senior calls the number provided or takes a directed action, he or she may not need to report for jury duty. The fact is that you cannot pay a fee and avoid jury duty. This is a scam. If you receive such a summons, be sure to contact your local courthouse to double check that you are, in fact, to report for jury duty.
These are just a few of the scams targeting seniors right now. The best protection you can take is to be prepared, stay informed and be on guard against potentially fraudulent communication. If you have questions about this or any other elder law issue, do not wait to contact our office.