Elder abuse, sadly, is alive and well. There are rules in place under elder law in New York, but some senior citizens still find themselves on the receiving end of abuse, which can also put a dent in their pocketbooks. According to recent statistics, about one in five Americans 65 years of age or older has suffered some kind of financial scam or financial abuse to the tune of more than $36 billion in total.

Modern technology has made it easier for scammers to get money from unsuspecting and trusting senior citizens. Scammers impersonate all sorts of individuals and the highest on the list is impersonating an IRS agent. These types of phone calls and correspondence illicit fear in seniors. There are ways seniors can protect themselves from such scams and the first way is not to trust any unsolicited phone callers.

The Seniors Safe Act is also helpful. If a transaction looks suspicious, an investment firm will delay the transaction for about 15 days or until it can be assured the transaction is legitimate. Another safeguard for seniors is to surround themselves with people they trust and to whom they can go for advice should they believe they are being treated badly or unlawfully. Enlisting the help of a reputable financial advisor may also be beneficial.

A New York attorney experienced in elder law may be able to answer a client’s questions when it comes to finances and other potential abuse areas. People have the right to ask questions when they are uncertain about individuals who they think may be acting unscrupulously. It’s better to be safe than sorry in the long run.