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The threat of scams increases over the holidays

Con artists and scammers know no boundaries when trying to solicit money from unsuspecting people. Seniors and retired individuals are at high risk of falling victim to these tactics. Lying and deceit are part of the game, and unfortunately for many the game is afoot and in full swing over the holidays.

Senior citizens are often preyed upon over the holidays by scammers looking to cash in on their innocence, isolation and loneliness. The aspect of scamming that often goes unsaid is the targeting of older adults because of the higher likelihood of mental incapacity. Many seniors experience memory or judgment issues way before family members are even aware of the problem. For scammers, these individuals are prime targets and very often repeatedly scammed.

Scammers may use Medicare's open enrollment, the obituaries or utilities to gain access to senior citizens personal information. All they have to do is call an unsuspecting individual and pose as someone they trust. For an elderly person that is experiencing memory loss, judgment issues or other aspects of mental deterioration, being conned out of their life savings is actually a pretty easy task.

For family members who have an elderly loved one living on their own, it is important to make arrangements for guardianship in the event their mental capacity begins to dwindle. While scammers can take advantage of anyone at any time, seniors living alone over the holidays are at greater risk.  Providing your loved one with a legal guardian can eliminate the threat of financial abuse by scammers. Working with a trusted attorney, you and your family can make sure that the only thing given out by your loved one this winter season is holiday cheer.

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