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Understanding how and why scammers target the elderly

It can be difficult coming to terms with the fact that your parents are not as sharp as they used to be. Whether it is hard to keep up with quickly changing technology and trends, or they are in the early stages of a cognitive disorder, your parents may be vulnerable to a range of common scams that unscrupulous people aim at senior citizens. At the law offices of Lonneman & McMahan PLLC, we can answer the questions Kentucky residents have about protecting their parents' estate from scammers.

Sadly, financial abuse is not uncommon among elderly Americans, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. About one out of every 20 senior citizens is targeted by someone out to exploit them. Your parents might be approached by someone who offers to fix their roof or cut their lawn at a good price, only to take a deposit and never return. They might get harassing phone calls from fraudulent IRS or utility company representatives, threatening to send them to jail or turn off their power if they do not pay immediately. They could receive an email from someone posing as a relative who is in dire trouble and needs money right away, or a hacker who locks up their laptop and demands a fee to "fix" the virus (and often ruins their computer further after taking payment).

Unfortunately, it can be difficult for many seniors to believe people are that cruel and dishonest. Common scams are sophisticated enough that they often trick the wary. If you are worried about your parents being taken advantage of, you may wish to speak with them about granting a power of attorney, so you can help them manage their finances and avoid a scamming disaster. Our estate planning page can explain further.

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