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Consumer Protection

Costly Scams that Target Seniors

#3: Funeral and Cemetery Scams

There are two types of funeral and cemetery scams affecting elderly people or families of those who are deceased:

  1. A scam artist will attend a funeral service and claim that the deceased had an outstanding debt with him/her. The individual will then take money from grieving families to repay a debt that never existed in the first place.
  2. Certain funeral homes will charge unnecessary fees to families who have lost loved ones. Because most people are unfamiliar with “typical” funeral expenses they pay the fees without asking any questions.

#2: Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

In most instances the counterfeit prescription drug business is done over the internet.  Elderly people are known to go online to find better deals on expensive prescriptions drugs because they live on a fixed income. They are tricked into purchasing items that will not help their medical condition and can even contain harmful substances.

#1: Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud

A scam artist will pose as a Medicare representative, and will ask the elderly to give them their personal information so they can get them into a Medicare program that is best for them. Or the fraudster may actually provide fake services for the elderly at a “makeshift” location later using their personal information in a fraudulent manner.

While these three types of scams may seem easy to spot, remember scam artists are professional con men or women who make a living deceiving others. If you are over 60 years of age, or if you have family members who fall into this age group, be sure you are aware of these types of fraud and stay alert. In short, never provide your personal financial or other information to someone unless you know “for sure” the company or the representative is legitimate. If you have any questions ask to call the company or entity the individual claims to represent, and never feel pressured to pay for something if you don’t completely understand what is being sold to you.




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