It can be heartbreaking to see your parents' physical and cognitive abilities decline in their golden years. They took care of you, and now you worry that others might take advantage of them. At the Law Offices of Frye & Vazquez, P.L., we understand there are many scams in Florida and elsewhere that target vulnerable elderly citizens, and we are prepared to assist you in keeping this from happening to your parents.
Financial abuse happens to about one out of 20 elderly Americans, states the National Adult Protective Services Association. If they are suffering from a cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease or dementia, your parents may be at risk of numerous scams, including the following:
- Computer scammers claiming their laptop is at risk unless they pay to have it "cleaned"
- Fraudulent lottery or sweepstakes winnings stating they must first pay a processing fee
- Aggressive door-to-door salespeople or charities
- False IRS calls stating your parents will go to jail if they do not pay overdue taxes they do not actually owe
- Unscrupulous family members or caregivers coercing them into signing over access to their bank account or making them the sole heirs to their estate
Con artists who target the elderly know that they often lack sophisticated knowledge of computer technology and trends, and may use that to their advantage. If your parents are at risk, you might consider seeking a conservatorship or guardianship. These options would allow them to enjoy life while you manage their finances and daily needs without worrying about them being victimized. Our page on guardianships and conservatorships explain more about your options.