As if the coronavirus crisis was not challenging enough for seniors and their loved ones, scammers are now using aggressive tactics to target vulnerable people who may be temporally cut off from the physical protection and oversight of their family.
We are asking all adult children and caregivers of seniors to talk to their loved ones about some of the scams that are happening during the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, if you believe that your loved one has been victimized already in one of the scams listed below, please contact the local authorities.
Stimulus Check Scams
Explain to older loved ones that they will NOT need to provide information to a third-party to receive stimulus money! If they are eligible for funds from the government, the money will be sent automatically without having to take any action. They should also avoid giving out their Social Security number or banking information to anyone claiming to oversee coronavirus-related funds.
Advise older loved ones to avoid opening the door for anyone asking to conduct “random coronavirus testing” … even if they are showing up in protective gear or a lab coat. As of now, health officials are NOT going door to door to randomly test local residents for the disease.
Seniors who use computers or smartphones should be careful clicking on any links related to coronavirus payments that may be sent via email or on social media sites. It’s possible that by clicking on an infected link, the user could be hacked, and personal information could be stolen.
Many people are hurting financially, and unfortunately, fraudulent GoFundMe campaigns and fake charities are popping up to prey on people’s sympathies. Encourage older loved ones to do their homework, or even reach out for a second opinion, before donating to what seems to be a worthy cause.
Please don’t forget that we are here for you and your family during this difficult time. If you need help with your will, trust, and estate planning needs or you just have questions you’d like answered, please contact our Brandon estate and elder law attorneys at (813) 438-8503 to let us know how we can be of service.