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Elderly Consumer Fraud Lawyers

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What Is Elderly Consumer Fraud?

Elderly consumer fraud is a type of financial fraud that targets the elderly. Financial fraud is the fasting growing form of elder abuse and involves deceiving a victim with promises of goods or services that the deceiver never intended to provide. People over the age of fifty account for approximately 56% of all victims of consumer fraud.

How Can I Know If Someone Has Defrauded Me?

When someone commits elderly consumer fraud it usually involves deceiving the victim with promises of goods or services that the deceiver never intended to provide. Generally, there are several types of frauds that person commits against an elderly consumer. These include:

  • Prizes and Sweepstakes Scams: Informing the victim that he can win or has won a valuable prize and requiring him to send in money to cover various fees.
  • Fake Investments: Persuading the victim to invest in something by promising unrealistically high rates of return.
  • Fraudulent Home and Automobile Repairs: Recommending unnecessary or unneeded auto or home repairs and then failing to do any work, doing little work, or doing substandard work.
  • Fraudulent Loans and Mortgages: Providing loans with exorbitant interest rates, hidden fees, or inequitable repayment schedules.
  • Health, Funeral, and Life Insurance Fraud: Selling duplicitous coverage, failing to live up to the provisions of the coverage, or providing bogus coverage.
  • Telemarketing Scams: Calling people at home and using high-pressure tactics to solicit money for fraudulent operations.
  • Mail Fraud: Mailing fraudulent materials to a wide audience, allowing potential victims to indicate their interest, and then scamming victims that make contact.

What Are Some Indicators of Fraud?

In order to avoid consumer fraud it is important to always remain alert to when a deal may be too good to be true. For the elderly the distinction between a fraudulent offer and a genuine offer may be hard to make. Some signs that indicate the offer may be fraudulent include:

  • The victim in told to "act now" or the offer will expire.
  • The victim is told that he has won a free gift or prize but must pay for some charge or fee.
  • The victim must send money or give a credit card number before being allowed to consider the offer carefully.

Are There Any Consumer Fraud Laws That Protect the Elderly?

Federal law has created several pieces of legislation designed to protect people against consumer fraud. These laws require that a telemarketer:

  • Not call you if you have requested that you not to be called.
  • Only call between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Tell you that it is a sales call, the name of the seller, and what they are selling.
  • Not lie to you about any information.
  • Not withdraw money from your checking account without your express approval.

Many states have also adopted laws specially designed to protect consumers against fraud and these laws often have harsher penalties for fraud committed against the elderly.

Do I Need an Attorney?

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud it is very important that you contact an experienced consumer rights attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to decide whether or not fraud has been committed, and if it has, a lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to help you recover whatever you lost.

Photo of page author Jessica Tam

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-21-2014 03:57 PM PDT

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