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How the Pandemic Has Impacted Financial Elder Abuse

Scams are nothing new — people who initiate these crimes are looking for a quick way to make money by falsifying information to others. Some of the most vulnerable of scams can be older adults, and unfortunately, COVID-19 has created the opportunity for scams relating to the ongoing pandemic.

Common COVID-19 Scams

According to government websites, the following are some of the most common types of COVID-19 scams.

Identity Theft

Showing off your vaccination card online can bring a sense of self-pride. For scammers, though, this is an easy way to obtain someone’s name, birth date, and other personal information, leading to threats.

Charity Scams

When a disaster strikes, so do the opportunities for fake charity scams. Older adults who may think they’re doing something for the better good by donating to a charity, but haven’t done their research on who is asking for the money, can wind up only hurting themselves in the end. Additionally, scammers may say they're with a legit organization but give a fake account to send money to instead of donating directly through the organization.

Before contributing any money to a charity, it’s best to do due diligence on who is asking for the funds and the charity itself. If you have suspicions, tell the person asking for money that you will contribute a different way and do not feel pressured to give money immediately. If the person demands that there is only one way to contribute, then that could be the sign of a scammer.

Government Checks

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans received stimulus checks. While most saw this money go directly to their bank account, many others received a check in the mail instead. The IRS would never mail a check and then ask for personal information. However, spammers will send what looks like a legitimate check but require the recipient to send personal information to a website or elsewhere.

If someone ever has a question about whether a check received in the mail is legitimate or not, it’s best to contact the agency that allegedly sent the money.

Would My Broker Scam Me?

While it may be difficult for a broker to pull off a scam related to COVID-19, there are other tricks they may try on vulnerable adults. If you or a loved one believe you are a victim of broker misconduct, the team at Weltz Law wants to help. With more than 30 years of collective experience, our knowledgeable financial elder abuse attorneys are ready to get you the best outcome possible for your case.

Contact us online or by phone today — (877) 905-7671