Texas Seniors at Risk from Internet Scams and Other Financial Elder Abuse
Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 25, 2013 – Seniors in Texas are at high risk from Internet scams and financial elder abuse.
According to the FBI’s 2012 Internet Crime Report, Texas ranked third in the nation in the number of complaints received about Internet fraud. This type of scam is just one way that thieves can take advantage of seniors. Older people are also at risk for in-person and telephone scams and for theft and fraud by caregivers and other service providers.
“It is very important to be aware of the various ways that financial elder abuse can be carried out,” said John Hale, a Dallas elder law attorney. “Older people can be particularly vulnerable to financial scams.”
Seniors are often targeted by scammers. Some older people experience cognitive problems due to Alzheimer’s or other dementias that make them vulnerable to fraud. Although Internet use is rising among seniors, many are unfamiliar with the technology, which may allow a foothold for those seeking to defraud.
The FBI report detailed several examples of the most common types of Internet fraud, some of which are variations of scams that have been used against seniors for years. One common type is a notification of a fake lottery win, but in order to claim the prize the victim must submit personal information such as a Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card information.
In another type of scam, an older person may be contacted by someone pretending to be a younger family member in some type of financial or legal crisis. Internet users also frequently fall victim to “scareware” fraud, in which a message pops up on a user’s screen claiming that the computer is infected by a virus that can only be fixed by purchasing particular software.
The FBI maintains an Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov where victims can report Internet crime. In 2012, the FBI received nearly 290,000 such complaints, amounting to a dollar loss of nearly $525.5 million. The FBI warns that Internet users should never give personal or financial information to an untrusted source and should report any suspected fraud.
John Hale is a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm. To learn more visit http://www.thehalelawfirm.com.
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
View Larger Map
- Stunning Breakthrough Offers Hope for Paralyzed Spinal Cord Injury Patients
An electrical stimulation implant has helped four paralyzed men regain the ability to move their legs. The device, called an epidural spine stimulator, was implanted in the men as part of a study undertaken by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Louisville. One of the patients in the study, Kent Stephenson, is from Mount Pleasant, Texas. At 21, he was involved in a motocross accident that left him without sensation or motor control from the chest down. Today, he can move his legs, stand on his own and distinguish between types of touch. In addition, […]
- Expert Links Football Players’ Concussions to Behavioral Problems, Slams NFL Settlement Deal
A brain injury expert from Boston University is speaking out for players he feels have been unfairly excluded from a settlement deal in the class action lawsuit against the NFL over the health effects of play-related brain injury. Robert Stern filed an affidavit with the court and then took his story to the press, telling The Associated Press (AP) that the compensation in the settlement may be going to the wrong people. Stern told AP reporters that behavioral problems, including domestic violence, drug addiction and suicide, can all be caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy — also known as CTE — […]
- More Controversy Appears in Case Questioning Highway Guardrail Safety
A mistrial has been declared in a federal lawsuit which alleges that some highway guardrails across the country pose a deadly risk to drivers. The lawsuit was filed by a whistleblower alleging that guardrails produced by Trinity Industries, a Texas-based guardrail manufacturer, are malfunctioning and killing drivers. The lawsuit further charges that the guardrail defect is the result of a product change that the company hid from the government and safety inspectors. The judge dismissed the case over what he found to be “inappropriate conduct” on both sides, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The judge suggested […]