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Thursday June 14, 2018

2:00 - 3:30 pm


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Walnut Creek, CA 94596


"How to get Medi-Cal coverage for your nursing home care... without selling your home or leaving your family without a dime... Surprising ways to pay for your assisted living and long term care costs."

Elder Law Today Newsletter | February, 2013


Beware of Scammers Targeting Seniors

Seniors can sometimes be targets for scammers. This could partly be because seniors grew up during a more gentle time. My parents, who were born in 1919 and 1921, were both WWII veterans, and are both gone now. I remember that they would never lock the doors to our home when I was a child, except when we went away on trips. I can remember my parents dropping my brother, sister and me off at a movie theatre on Saturdays in the early 60’s in Whittier, CA, when we were 10 or 11 years old, and then pick us up when the movie was over. This would be unheard of today! I have found that seniors tend to be more trusting than baby boomers. Because of their trusting nature, seniors can be susceptible to scams and frauds.

Several months ago, one of my older clients called my office to exclaim that she won $25,000 in a contest and needed our help! She was panicking because she got a call from the “contest people” who told her that she had to deliver a cashier’s check in the amount of $2,500 to a courier near the Oakland airport by 3:00 p.m. that day, and she wanted us to help her deliver the check. We advised her to do nothing, and we told her that this was surely a scam. We then called the “contest person” who had called our client. The phone number was in Canada, and, of course, turned out to be a scam. We called the FBI to report the incident.

In another situation, my client’s father, who was in his late 80’s and suffering from some dementia, was pressured into purchasing six vacation timeshares by an unscrupulous salesman! I am sure it was obvious to the salesman that my client’s father would never use one, let alone all six of the timeshares. My client was eventually successful in having the contracts for the timeshares canceled, but not without a great expense of time, money and frustration.

Another tactic scammers have used is to contact seniors to let them know that they are eligible for free Medicare services, including back braces, etc. The scammer will request the Medicare policy number, date of birth and other personal information from the senior. The scammer will then use this information to bill the Government for services or appliances that were never provided. Our advice: please, do not give out your Medicare number. Treat your Medicare card as if it were a credit card!

These stories are very upsetting to an Elder Law and Asset Protection Attorney. Our area of practice is particularly susceptible to this type of fraud, noting that Walnut Creek has a high concentration of seniors, with approximately 9,200 residents in Rossmoor alone. For years we have assisted in preserving the assets of our older clients through comprehensive estate planning, asset protection and long term care planning. This type of planning also includes the preparation of revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, and wills. We also assist with qualification for Medi-Cal, which pays for nursing home stays and the VA Aid and attendance Pension Benefit for wartime veterans and their surviving spouses, which helps to pay the costs of in-home care and assisted living facilities.

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