At Alatsas Law Firm, it saddens and sickens us when ill-spirited people take advantage of the elderly and try to con older adults out of money and other resources. This is especially troubling when many seniors are feeling afraid and uncertain about their futures, such as during this coronavirus pandemic that we are all living through.
Here are the most prevalent elder scams going on based on the coronavirus that seniors and their family members should be aware of right now.
At-Home Coronavirus Test Kit Scams
Testing resources for coronavirus have been strained in many parts of the country, leaving seniors to worry about how they can get tested if they feel symptomatic. Scammers have capitalized on these worries and started calling and sending text messages to seniors to advertise fake at-home test kits for COVID-19 in exchange for credit card and social security numbers. Meanwhile, other elder scams are advertising fake vaccines, cures, and preventative drugs for coronavirus.
Life and Health Insurance Scams
Seniors rely upon their insurance companies for peace of mind, but that peace of mind is being shaken by coronavirus scammers. Insurance scams are offering seniors fake testing kits and other free gifts for signing up for a new insurance policy. Scammers are also asking older adults for their Medicare ID numbers, which should never be given out to questionable sources.
Stimulus Check Scams
Many seniors are looking forward to receiving their government stimulus checks that are being issued as a coronavirus response to help people in need and stimulate the economy. Seniors should never provide their bank account information over the phone to a questionable caller so that a stimulus payment can be released or a loan application approved.
Fake Coronavirus Charity Scams
There are lots of amazing nonprofit organizations that are doing great work to support people in need during this coronavirus era. However, there are also elderly scams going around featuring fake charities looking to collect money for COVID-19 relief. Seniors should only give to charities they are familiar with and can trust during this time. Seniors can also research new charities or ask family members to do the research for them to learn about other potential places to donate to.
One of the most common elderly scams going around right now involves scammers pretending to be a grandchild in need of money. In these calls, scammers may say they are sick with coronavirus, stranded in a dangerous place, or in some other kind of trouble. They will ask seniors to send cash in the mail or to send gift cards and pressure seniors to keep the request a secret. If you are suspicious about one of these requests, call your grandchild directly or call another family member to confirm the story you’re being told.
Elder Law Advocates in New York
Theodore Alatsas, Esq. is an elder law advocate practicing in Brooklyn who cares deeply for the needs of our senior population. Our firm focuses on the needs of seniors as they age and helping seniors and their loved ones pursue justice and plan for the future.
We can help you or the senior you love fight back against scammers and stay protected during these difficult times. Other elder law services we can provide include estate planning, medical directives, disability law, retirement planning, nursing home planning, elder abuse representation, bankruptcy law, and social security law.
To receive legal help, please contact us at 718-233-2903, start a live chat with us on our website, or fill out our online form.