Elders are especially vulnerable to scams through technology.
Technology is constantly improving.
Each advancement brings opportunities for improvement.
It also brings more opportunities for scammers.
According to a recent Security Intelligence article titled “Law Enforcement Conducts Largest Coordinated Elder Identity Fraud Sweep in History,” law enforcement is cracking down on fraudulent activity.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently charged more than 250 defendants, with some 200 of them facing criminal charges.
What were some of the common scams?
One asks grandparents to send money to bail their grandchild out of jail.
Another is paying a fee to receive lottery winnings.
Hundreds of millions of dollars were lost to these scams.
Scams can be conducted over the phone.
However, phone scams are inefficient because scammers can only target one person at a time.
The scammers also use the internet.
In contrast to the one-at-a-time scam on the telephone, harnessing the internet allows millions to be targeted at one time.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity fraud complaints were up 14 percent last year.
Debt collection fraud was the highest form.
Although elders tend to be the primary target, people of all ages are victimized.
Surprisingly, Millennials are scammed at a higher rate than their grandparents.
But seniors lose more money.
With the threats rising, law enforcement officials are focusing greater efforts to fighting these crimes.
How can you help?
In the famous words of Ronald Reagan, trust by verify.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Security Intelligence (March 27, 2018) “Law Enforcement Conducts Largest Coordinated Elder Identity Fraud Sweep in History”