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Financial Abuse of the Elderly is Expected to Rise During COVID-19

Scammers have always been around—they’ve just become smarter, sneakier, and quicker. Email scams that were once easy to monitor have been upgraded and revised into some of the world’s most fraudulent scams. But for scammers, the overall purpose remains the same: to steal your money and hack your private information.

Fast forward to the start of 2020, where we’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic ease the way to a newer, more sophisticated, and ominous way for scammers to commit fraudulent acts. In a time filled with uncertainty and desperation, scammers have increased their activity.

Why Are Nursing Home Residents Targeted for Financial Abuse?

The rise in concerns around COVID-19 coupled with the impact of social distancing and isolation has made nursing home residents easy targets for financial abuse. Scammers are using the pandemic to their advantage, capitalizing on residents’ excessive worry about the virus. In addition, many residents are financially secure with good credit and savings. Seeing that they rely so heavily on others to fulfill their needs, scammers are tempted by the opportunity to steal from them.

However, scammers aren’t the only group of people you should worry about. Fraud by family members and caretakers is extremely common, now more than ever. Because of unemployment and the additional caregiving responsibilities during COVID-19, financial abuse and exploitation are increasing problems for seniors in the United States.

Financial Scams Targeting Nursing Home Residents During COVID-19

The authorities have warned citizens, especially seniors and nursing home residents, to pay close attention to their finances as scammers have found cunning ways to make extra money. Some of the recently discovered financial scams targeting residents during COVID-19 include:

  • Stolen federal stimulus checks
  • Fraudulent COVID-19 tests
  • Bogus vaccines
  • Impersonating healthcare workers
  • Phishing scams
  • Fake charity donations

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there have been over 214,000 complaints made by the public in regards to COVID-19 stimulus checks—143,000 of them involving fraud or identity theft. As these scams continue to surface and grow, it’s critical to reach out to your loved ones to ensure they understand the severity of these scams and how to protect themselves.

Help the Elderly Avoid COVID-19 Financial Scams

No one deserves to be taken advantage of, especially during unprecedented times like these. Whether your loved one is being cared for in a nursing home or by you, they need all the protection they can get. Review the following warning signs and advice released by the FTC with your loved one:

  • Get information from reputable sites like the CDC or WHO
  • Don’t engage in communications about checks from the government
  • Be cautious if anyone calls you saying they need money right away for a family member in trouble
  • Beware of fake testing kit advertisements
  • Hang up on and report robocalls
  • Avoid giving out personal information until you verify identity
  • There is no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19; don’t accept any offers
  • When donating, don’t pay in cash, by gift card, or by electronic wiring

Depend on Dalli & Marino, LLP for Help with Financial Abuse

If you or a loved one has become a victim of financial abuse or any other form of nursing home abuse, you can depend on the law firm of Dalli & Marino, LLP for help. We host some of New York’s top trial attorneys. For more than 23 years, our goal has been to represent injured victims with the highest level of service and legal counsel to secure full financial compensation for their losses.

Your case will not be handled by receptionists or filed away in a cabinet. We personally work with our clients to bring necessary justice to elderly victims of abuse. To discuss your legal matter with an experienced attorney at Dalli & Marino, LLP, contact us for a free case evaluation by calling 888-465-8790 or completing our contact form.