Spokane, Washington — Every year, fraud against the elderly costs over $2.9 billion. Millions of seniors lose their life savings and more to scammers who take advantage of their naivetÃ© and affections.
Spokane Elder Law (living trust spokane) has been looking out for Spokane and Washington State's elder population for many years. All of their services, including guardianship services, Medicaid planning and estate planning, are designed to protect seniors and their assets.
Scam artists call seniors by phone or email them with elaborate frauds that destroy seniors lives and steal the legacy that they spent a lifetime trying to build for their families. Some of the most recent scams have included fake appeals from family members, emotional lies about areas devastated by natural disasters and patriotic appeals regarding veterans, police officers or firefighters.
Many of these thieves operate off-shore and cannot be penalized under US law, even if investigators can find them. Despite new laws passed in Washington and more than 20 other states, seniors remain vulnerable to these despicable actions.
Family members and seniors can protect themselves by taking a few simple steps:
- Assign a family member to assist with all monetary transactions — no checks can be written without more than one person's approval.
- Appoint an attorney to monitor all significant expenditures from retirement accounts, mortgage funds or credit accounts — having an unbiased, third-party review, and intercept if necessary, large financial transactions can save immense pain later.
- Discuss fraud and scams with parents and grandparents openly and frequently — Many of these scams appeal to a senior's emotions and will swear them to secrecy. Open and frank discussion can stop many of these thefts.
- Watch out for senior neighbors — Not all elderly folks have families to assist them. There should be no shame in speaking with a neighbor or friend to protect them.
- Act immediately — Don't let a moment go by after discovering a fraud to contact the police, an attorney or state authorities.
These frauds continue at ever increasing levels because of shame and disappointment. If these crimes were breaking and entering or purse snatchings, no one would ever hesitate to talk about it. Spokane Family Law adamantly encourages everyone, seniors, family members and friends, to speak about these crimes with everyone and each other. If the stigma of shame can be removed from these crimes, they will be much harder to commit.
Spokane Elder Law offers free consultations for any senior legal need, including these crimes. Victims of fraud or their family members are encouraged to contact them immediately.
Spokane Family and Elder Law