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Danger for Homeowners: Door-to-Door Sales

It seems like a good deal – new paint for your home that will give you huge savings on your electric bill; solar panels which are practically free; replacement windows that are as energy efficient as they are beautiful.  Special financing for seniors.  Who could pass it up? If you fall for it, there is a good chance you could end up with a huge increase on your property tax bill.  That ‘special financing’ gets put on your county property taxes and has administrative costs, fees and interest.  It comes with a big risk if you can’t afford these new assessments on your tax bill.  You could have trouble refinancing or selling your home, and can even face foreclosure. Most salespeople are good at what they do.  Our capable, careful clients have been duped by door-to-door sales pitches.  If you are asked to initial something or sign a bid, your initials or signature can be used to electronically sign documents you never reviewed, with terms you would never accept....

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Fake Calls About Your SSN

December 12, 2018 by Jennifer Leach Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC The FTC is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money. In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. He then says your Social is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. And he will ask you to confirm your Social Security number. In other variations, he says that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. Or he might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that he’ll tell you how to keep...

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From Our Executive Director’s Desk

Scammers who target seniors were very active in 2018.  Most of these scams have been around for many years.  Why?  Because they work and the scammers get away with it.  Here are some to watch out for in 2019, along with my best tip: HANG UP before they can get to your money! Your phone rings… You won the lottery! HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! Your grandchild is in trouble and needs you to wire money or get a gift card. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! You qualify for free home improvements-solar, roof, windows, ‘cool wall’ paint. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! The IRS calls to say you owe back taxes. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! Medicare is calling because you need to pay for a new Medicare card. HANG UP!  It’s a SCAM! If you have a question about a call, a letter, or a contract, contract Elder Law & Advocacy before you open your wallet.  An attorney will advise you free of charge.  For an appointment call...

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AmazonSmile Increased Donation Rate October 29 to November 2

Dear Supporters of Elder Law & Advocacy, Please consider making your purchases at Amazon.com this week through the Amazon Smile link that benefits Elder Law & Advocacy. From now until November 2nd, we will receive a donation of 5% of the value of what you spend at Amazon.com, if you do so through the Amazon Smile link. Thank you for helping us to help seniors in our...

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Elder Abuse Restraining Order – Can it help you?

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Elder Abuse is reported by about 1 in 10 older adults but thought to be vastly underreported. Elder abuse is the physical abuse, mental suffering, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or neglect of someone 65 years old or over. Although it can be inflicted by a stranger, a neighbor or an acquaintance, it is too often inflicted by a caregiver, child, or spouse. The stress of caregiving and financial strain create circumstances that are especially susceptible to abuse. Elders are often stuck in these situations without the physical capability to leave or financial means to seek help. If someone finds themselves in this situation and are in danger, they should call the police. In addition, there are resources in San Diego County that can help to construct a comprehensive protection plan. A Civil Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Restraining Order is one of these tools.  In so many instances, stopping an abuser’s physical access to the elder or to the elder’s assets...

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United Nations’ Elder Abuse Awareness Day

In the United States it is estimated that elder abuse will affect over 5 million seniors and cost them over $2.6 billion each year. The United Nations defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.” Unfortunately of those 5 million seniors often do not report their abuse due to embarrassment or denial. The United Nations has designated June 15th as Elder Abuse Awareness-Day to raise awareness for the immense scale of this issue and to let seniors know that their abuse should not be a subject of embarrassment. Some of the most prevalent types of elder abuse we see at Elder Law & Advocacy are scams and financial fraudulent activities. Sadly, scams and their effects are widespread among members of our senior population due to the fact that predators view seniors as vulnerable targets. Scam artists take advantage of lonely, sometimes confused seniors...

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