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Online Community & Resource for Active Silver Surfers

Elder fraud: As I see it

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Elder fraud: What can you do?Elder fraud: What to do if you've been scammed

Once personal information has been released, a senior citizen has lost their identity almost forever.

Elder fraud is an ever-changing epidemic and changing. In my practice, families and attorneys for families are simply at their wits end and have contacted me for help. The Internet, which has made our lives more convenient, has now become a feeding ground for these vipers.

Many of these clients have reached out via chat rooms or other online forums to engage with social media… and that becomes the draw. On the other end of the Internet is the scammer.

Call it a Nigerian scam, the disaster emergency scam, or the lottery scam; they entice my clients to answer, either with money or by giving confidential information. The most damaging is the request to share personal information. Once this information is released, a senior citizen has – for all intents and purposes – lost their identity almost forever.

As I tell my clients or their family, never ever give out personal information to anyone on the phone or the Internet. Unless you make the call to a bank or other place of business with which you’ve engaged before, do not make the mistake of giving this information away.

Most everyone today has caller ID on their phones. I strongly advise that clients do not answer a call that they do not recognize — phone calls from scammers lead to the problem.

Scammers are professional salespeople, and they know what to ask to get you into a conversation. They will ask seemingly innocuous questions to get you to talk. Slowly, these conversations become personal and then questions are asked about family, interests, hobbies and then about money. That’s when the conversation becomes expensive.

Stay tuned for future blogs dealing with the most common questions including, “what do I do if…?”

Take my advice for what it is – it’s just AS I SEE IT.

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About the Author: Leonard F. Baer

Leonard Baer's practice focuses on Elder Law, and Estate Planning. His previous experience was in the area of complex criminal litigation, serving as Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Division for The United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Baer was recognized by the Office of The Attorney General, as one of the top prosecutors in the country during his tenure. He has been included in North Carolina Top Rated Lawyers, a distinction awarded to those lawyers recognized by their colleagues as leaders in their field. He has also been recognized by the Florida Bar, for his efforts in representing seniors and their families, who are victims of scams and fraud. Mr. Baer is an AV rated lawyer listed in Martindale-Hubbell, and has been selected for inclusion in their Bar Registrar of Preeminent Lawyers, which for over 90 years, includes only those select law practices that have earned their highest rating. He has been designated by Martindale-Hubbell as preeminent in his field, and in the top 5% of all lawyers practicing in the United States. Mr. Baer has also been ranked by AVVO, an online Legal Directory of over 200,000 lawyers nationally, as Superb, their highest rating. He served as adjunct professor of Sports Law at The University of Miami, and is a frequent lecturer on the topics of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Fraud Protection. He has been a columnist for several newspapers for over 13 years and currently has a nationally syndicated blog, “As I See It” with a readership of over 25,000. Leonard is a Guest Contributor of The Silver Life and has recently launched a new service called SuddenlySolo1 -

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