May 9th, 2024

Senior Fraud Awareness Day: Ensuring Your Loved Ones Aren’t Victims

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Did you know seniors lost an estimated $3.1 billion annually to financial scams and fraud? Shockingly, the total losses of fraud reported by elderly victims have increased 84% since 2021. May 15th is National Senior Fraud Awareness Day – a critical awareness day to ensure you, a friend or a loved one is not taken advantage of.

Learn to protect yourself and your loved ones with some important facts:

  • Senior Fraud involves various schemes where a fraudster targets elderly individuals and exploit them for financial gain. These scams could cause devasting consequences leaving seniors with major financial losses and setbacks including loss of life savings and financial independence.
  • As the number of seniors continues to increase, so does the prevalence of financial fraud targeted at this vulnerable population. According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, there were over 88,000 complaints of fraud from individuals 60 and over resulting in $3.1 billion in losses.
  • Amongst all the scams of impersonations and investments schemes, one to watch out for is the misuse of power of attorney. POA is where a designated individual is entrusted with financial decision-making upon your behalf. The purpose of a POA is to ensure if you are ill or incapacitated, someone is there to make suitable decisions. When in the wrong hands, a POA can be abused. Since the individual with POA has access to funds, property and personal information, this access can easily be exploited.
  • Crafted correctly, a POA can be a helpful tool and without it an incapacitated individual may face a costly court proceeding for guardianship. To draft or change a POA it is important to consult an attorney to make sure the document accomplishes exactly what is intended and not more.

If you have questions about drafting a power of attorney, please contact one of the attorneys in Stein Sperling’s Estates and Trusts Department at (301) 340-2020.