New Scams to Watch Out For
Scammers often prey on senior citizens, believing them to be easy targets. There are many reasons for this. Some seniors live alone and might be emotionally vulnerable. As we age, many seniors also struggle with remembering details, so it might be easier to confuse someone. Some seniors also have more disposable income than, say, younger people.
At Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group, we keep our eye on the latest scams that target our community. If you have a legal question, or need help after being scammed, please contact us today.
Life Insurance Scam
Television station WTKR in Virginia is reporting an uptick in scams involving life insurance. According to their report, people in Suffolk and Isle of Wight have been receiving phone calls from someone identifying themselves as “Senior Services.” The callers try to sell life insurance to whoever picks up the phone and will either pocket the money or use the senior’s identity.
Life insurance scams are a staple, unfortunately. We have seen many of these scams in our Florida communities, so residents of The Villages should be on guard.
Seniors also should think carefully before buying life insurance. At our age, it is often more expensive to purchase. Also, many companies will not sell to anyone over age 65. If a salesman makes promises that you will be “automatically approved,” then you should be skeptical.
Also fully research any life insurance company before agreeing to purchase a policy. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about whether you should buy and look for a reputable company that has sold life insurance on the market for years. You don’t want to buy from a fake company.
Many seniors are targeted for scams involving annuities. These are contracts that guarantee a rate of payment. For example, you might invest $100,000 in an annuity and get a certain amount for a fixed amount of time (say 10 years) or for life.
One scam involves convincing seniors to purchase expensive annuities that they must hold for a certain amount of time, such as 10-15 years. If they cash out early, they end up having to pay a large penalty. Meanwhile, the person who sold the annuity flees with a fat commission.
According to Fox Business, another scam involves converting annuities. Although the new annuity isn’t well suited for the senior’s needs, the agent who handled the conversion gets a commission for it. Meanwhile, the senior is left poorer and with an annuity that doesn’t work for them.
Investment decisions are often difficult for seniors to make. Not everyone is financially savvy; instead, we naturally rely on professional advisors for help. When those advisors have ulterior motives, however, they can bilk thousands of dollars from their clients.
Contact Us Today
Our estate planning lawyers at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group are available to take your call and meet for a free consultation. If you have been victimized by a scam, do not feel too embarrassed to reach out for help. You can call us at 800-743-9732 in the Villages. We offer a free consultation.