elderlyFinancial exploitation is a real problem that seniors all over the world regularly fall victim to. Scam artists, unethical salespeople, and other parties love targeting easy marks, and the elderly usually fit into this category. Many seniors no longer have the attentiveness or sharpness of mind to understand the ramifications of the deal, and could end up losing a huge amount of their finances.

We like to think that nobody would stoop low enough to take advantage of the elderly in this way, but it does happen quite often. At worst, it can even cause the victims to lose their savings when they have no means of earning more, leading to a life of hardship.

How it happens

Financial exploitation takes many forms, and varies greatly in severity. A common theme, though, is that the offender will mislead the victim with false promises and exaggerated claims, taking advantage of their confusion or naivety.

In many cases, there are legal ways to deal with this. Lawyers like Corsiglia McMahon and Allard, L.L.P. urge victims and their families to step forward; not only could an investigation help them get their funds back, it can also prevent more victims in the future.

1. Investments – Although seniors usually live on their savings and pensions, a large number of them still worry about their finances. This is especially the case for those with medical bills. Offenders will boast about unrealistically high returns, and get them to invest with no though for the client’s benefit.

2. Products and services – Overcharging the elderly or selling things that they don’t actually need or want, is a common tactic of some salespeople and companies. From overpriced used cars to misleading travel packages, it is dangerous for seniors to make large purchases on their own.

3. Scams – Finally, there are the typical outright scams that prey on the unaware. Scam artists will solicit money for fake charities, pretend to be their grandchildren on the phone, and use many other tricks to separate the elderly from their hard earned money.

Not every old person is an easy mark, and many of them are perfectly capable of avoiding these traps on their own. But it is best to warn your aging relatives about this problem and offer to help them with any major financial decisions.