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Posted by on Jun 15, 2020 in Elder Abuse |

Scam Update: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. We urge people of all ages to take note of the ongoing scams affecting seniors in our communities. Typical scams targeting older Americans thrive on financial abuse and exploitation. Scams are illegal and a form of elder abuse.

Last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned residents to be cautious about scammers pretending to be coronavirus contact tracers.[1] As more public health orders relax, counties are hiring contract tracers to track and identify outbreaks of coronavirus. There have already been numerous reports of scammers posing as contract tracers and asking for private information, such as Medicare number, Social Security number or bank account information. Contract tracers will never ask for such personal information, or banking information.

Attorney General Becerra urges residents to report such fraud to his office immediately. The California Senior Medicare Patrol also has a toll-free hotline to report scams involving private health information: 1-855-613-7080.

The IRS reported recent scams related to fake charities and phishing schemes by email, letter, text message, and internet links. [2]

The Federal Trade Commission reports indicate California residents age 60 and above have already reported over 4,500 scams related to Covid-19 and stimulus payments. The fraud victims in the cases lost a total of over $11.8 million.[3]

Locally, the San Diego community saw recent variations of the popular grandparent scam. [4] Two residents were convinced their grandchild or family member was in legal trouble. A scammer posed as an attorney and sent someone to pick up cash from the scam victim (with promises to resolve the issue for the grandchild).

Please contact our office for legal assistance and guidance on reporting scams and protecting yourself in the future. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions, help spread awareness about scams, and prevent further instances of elder abuse in the community.

This information is provided as a result of a generous grant from the Sahm Family Foundation.

[1] https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-issues-consumer-alert-covid-19-contact-tracing-scams

[2] https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-warns-against-covid-19-fraud-other-financial-schemes

[3] https://public.tableau.com/profile/federal.trade.commission#!/vizhome/COVID-19andStimulusReports/Map

[4] https://www.cbs8.com/mobile/article/news/local/san-diego-grandmother-scammed-thought-her-grandson-was-in-trouble-jail/509-0e7e88e3-e887-417f-a49c-1636286cac81