Elder Fraud is rampant in the United States. Dishonest telemarketers call, talk, and defraud their way into around 40 BILLION dollars every year. This is a very lucrative industry, and we are the only ones who have the knowledge to fight back. U.S. Department of Justice claims that 1 in 6 American consumers are fraudulently deprived of their income. Further, the Department of Justice states that more than 80% of them are older than 50.
The Ernst Law Group excels at bringing these scams to justice. We balance the scales. We fight on behalf of the elderly to retrieve the money or property. The Ernst Law Group has won millions of dollars and received recognition across the state for our expertise.
Common Scams played on the Elderly:
Telemarketing Fraud: The telemarketers call, learn about the elderly person, and then use practiced methods to get the elderly customer to trust them. Common schemes include investment fraud, credit card fraud, lottery type scams and identity theft.
Salesman Fraud: The dishonest sales person creates an in-person relationship with the elderly person. The elderly often do not have a lot of company, and due to this cultural problem, the dishonest salesperson preys on this vulnerability. The salesperson will visit the elderly person until they trust them, and then the sales person will sell them something. Most often we have seen the elderly sold “financial products” such as a Fixed Rate Variable Annuity. The sale’s person can make up to 15% of all the money the elderly person puts into the financial product. This results in a few hours of work adding up to a large profit. This is a terrible practice that needs to be prevented.
Unauthorized Access to Private Accounts: People will believe something if they really want it to be true. The con artist will convince the elderly that they love them, will care for them, or they need access to this private information to help someone in need. Once the elderly person turns over the information or provides the bank account information, the con artist will disappear along with whatever property they can take.
Excessive Billing or Excessive Price Gouging: Scammers will target seniors to and convince them that a specific good or service is necessary. Once the scammer sees that the elderly person is committed to buying the product, the scammer will charge them an inordinate amount of money for the product or service. Unfortunately most of the time this scam goes hand in hand with products and services that the elderly rely on for their health and quality of life. Examples would be hearing aids, safety alert devices, and movement aid systems.
Selling Bogus or Fake Goods: A scammer talks the elderly person into buying a “new” technology or item, when the technology is relatively old, used, or not actually the product in the box.
Money or Property through Undue Influence: Seniors get tricked or duped into selling property or major investment positions through “undue influence.” Undue influence is when the sales person acts from their superior knowledge that the person they are bargaining with does not have free will. When there is no free will to bargain, a valid contract is impossible.
A majority of scams require payment upfront. If you are going to warn your loved ones, tell them the basic rule is not to provide any money upfront or sign any legal contracts without consulting an attorney.