Financial Abuse & Elders: Common Scams

Financial abuse of the elderly is rampant, and often has devastating consequences for those who fall victim to financial fraud and scams. As our elders are often vulnerable to this type of abuse, it makes sense to learn about some of the more typical cons and scams that are targeted towards elders.

Bogus Long Term Care Medi-Cal Benefit

Applying for insurance is confusing enough as it is. But for elders, who may be trying to qualify for insurance for long term care in a California nursing home, the process can quickly go from being confusing to being abuse.

Unfortunately, individuals with bad intentions and greedy motivations capitalize on the fact that insurance is so confusing. One of the most common hustles involves selling elderly citizen various “services and products” supposedly designed to help the elder to pre-qualify for Medi-Cal. The prices are exorbitant, and in some cases individual seniors have been taken for up to $20,000. Tactics used to trick elders into paying for these services include false and misleading information and scare tactics.

If you or someone you love believes that someone is trying to sell you these types of unnecessary Medi-Cal products or services under the guise of helping you pre-qualify for assistance, refuse to sign anything before obtaining additional information.

Unsavory, Unethical “Trust Mills”

Elders solicited by people claiming to be Medi-Cal Specialists should be on alert. These individuals initially offer a free seminar for seniors on how they can protect their assets. However, upon attending these seminars, unnecessary estate planning services, preparation of wills, trusts and annuities are promoted, often using scare tactics. The sales pitch includes telling seniors that Medi-Cal may file an estate claim on their home or assets if they don’t buy these products and services. Thousands of elders in California have fallen victim to this scam, and have even had their applications for long term Medi-Cal assistance negatively affected as a result of buying these products.

If you or a loved one is being solicited by these types of fake, fraudulent financial advisors, it is in your best interest to obtain additional information before buying any of these products. Christopher C. Walton is a San Diego, California based elder abuse attorney who specializes in advocacy for elders. Chris welcomes questions and provides free, confidential consultations. Contact Chris at (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation.