Scams and Our Elderly Clients

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Our elder law firm, Cohen & Olican LLP, works hard to protect the rights and assets of our elderly and handicapped clients. When we champion your rights, it is totally upsetting to us to see our clients preyed on by unscrupulous con artists.

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Scams and Our Elderly Clients

  1. 1. Boston Elder Law Attorneys Specializing in Medicaid Planning Cohen & Oalican, LLC 617-263-1035- Boston 508-821-5599 – Raynham 978-749-0008 - Andover
  2. 2.  Our elder law firm, Cohen & Olican, LLP, works hard to protect the rights and assets of our elderly and handicapped clients.  When we champion your rights, it is totally upsetting to us to see our clients preyed on by unscrupulous con artists. 
  3. 3.  So, in this article, we are going to do our best to alert you to some of the more common scams, and how to protect yourself.  Of course, should you fall victim to one of these scam artist, turning to professional law enforcement, and your elder law attorney is far more important than protecting yourself from embarrassment.  Acting against these scam artists is the only way to protect the next victim.
  4. 4.  You've hear the adage "If it sounds to good to be true......"  Well, frankly, more often than not, it is too good to be true.  Yet still the vulnerable are constantly preyed on by con men and women, leaving financial devastation in their wake.  Here are some of the most common scams you should be on the look out for.
  5. 5. Some Common Swindles: •ID Theft •Fake Charities •Unlicensed Contractors Offering Home Repairs
  6. 6. •ID theft: •With the growing of the internet and all the different ways con artists work to get ahold of your private information, you must be incredibly careful with Identity theft.
  7. 7. •Place outgoing mail in a secure collection box and remove incoming mail from your mailbox promptly. •Get a shredder.. nothing that is in your trash should be considered safe
  8. 8.  Any personal information should be shredded before it is trashed.  Question any website that asks you for you passwords or bank account numbers.  Websites can be built to look like they are your real bank website - but in truth - they are there to take your information.  If it doesn't feel right..ask the question.. has my bank ever before asked me to go to a website just to confirm my password... We assure you - they haven't.
  9. 9.  If in doubt.. call your bank, or whomever it is that is asking for your information.  To cut down on credit offers, call 888-567- 8688 or go to http://www.optoutprescreen.com to opt out of mail credit offers.  You will need to provide your Social Security number so they can match your request with your file - this is a legitimate request for your private information.
  10. 10. Fake Charities  Scam artists create fake charities, often sounding like a real charity... they can spend a few dollars at a local copy store to dummy up credible looking ID, and they go on the prowl.  These ruthless con men (and women) not only steel from the vulnerable, but they also make it harder and harder for legitimate charities to do the worthy work that they are chartered to do.
  11. 11.  We recommend that you make a conscious decision and a real plan for your charitable giving and philanthropy.  Check out the organizations that you intend to support, and support them for the good works that they do.  Do not be moved by the compelling story of a young woman knocking on your doorstep.  Legitimate charities are registered with the state of Massachusetts.  Here's a website to go to to validate whether or not a charity is registered with the state.
  12. 12. Unlicensed contractors offering home repairs:  "Hey, we just finished a job fro the Smiths two streets over, and there's leftover tile, would you like a great deal on....."  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Beware of home repair scams.  Look out for transient work crews, strangers claiming to have extra material, free inspections in your home.. All of these should be red flags.
  13. 13.  You should look to licensed bonded and insured professionals.  It may feel more expensive at the outset than these street contractors that show up.. but nothing is more expensive than a botched job, or worse, paying and never seeing your money or the work again.  Shop around for a certified contractor insist on a detailed contract on the work to be done, estimated cost and timetable.
  14. 14.  The state of Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs should be notified of any scam, or scam attempt by calling 1-800- 243-4636.
  15. 15.  If you have been victimized, keeping quiet will not help the next victim in line. Just last month (October 20/2010) in Ipswitch and elderly citizen was approached by someone saying that they were the recipient of funds from the federal government, and asked to provide personal information in order to claim his windfall.  The man intelligently informed local police, and the scammer was investigated and arrested.  We applaud this anonymous individual.  Our elders cannot be a doormat waiting for the next scam artist to come knocking.
  16. 16.  If you are subjected to a scam, contact local authorities, and your elder law attorney  At Cohen & Olican, LLP we take pride in protecting our clients.
  17. 17. Boston Elderlaw Attorneys Specializing in Medicaid Planning Cohen & Oalican, LLC 617-263-1035- Boston 508-821-5599 – Raynham 978-749-0008 - Andover

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