Frauds on Senior Citizens in Michigan
As heartbreaking as it is, senior citizens are often the targets of various fraud schemes. According to a popular study conducted by MetLife and the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech, the annual financial loss due to fraud schemes on senior citizens was $2.9 billion. Due to the substantial damage caused by financial crimes against senior citizens, state and federal prosecutors are often very diligent and severe when pursuing the suspected offender(s).
Unfortunately, this increased severity toward individuals suspected of committing financial fraud against senior citizens has led to numerous wrongful arrests as well as violations of suspect rights or exceedingly harsh punishments. Whether you need to voice your innocence or fight for fair and reasonable sentencing, you can count on the federal defense attorneys at Grabel & Associates to stand by your side and fight for you in court. We offer free consultations and recommend contacting us as soon as you know that you’re under investigation or arrest. Call today at 1-800-342-7896.
In the meantime, it can be helpful to look at some of the most common types of fraud.
Most Common Types of Financial Crimes Against Senior Citizens
There are countless reasons why scammers and con artists prey on senior citizens. Some have a “nest egg” or excellent credit; others don’t report the scam, perhaps from shame or not wanting the family to think they’ve become mentally incapacitated; and, in many cases, scammers know that things like age may make the elderly’s report to the police less detailed and/or viable.
There are hundreds of different types of fraud, although some commonly perpetrated scams include:
- Repair or product scams. Either scammers or contractors might contact an elderly person and ask for credit information for a repair or new product. In other cases, a contractor or another individual may overcharge the elderly person or charge them several times. This same tactic is often used with magazine subscriptions as well.
- Uncollected debt scam. Following the death of a spouse (and when the elderly victim is going through a very vulnerable time), the scammer will call or email and inform the victim that the deceased spouse left thousands in debt that needs to be paid.
- Prizes and sweepstakes. In this scam, the scammer informs the victim that he/she has won a prize, but to receive that prize, the victim must send in money to cover taxes, shipping, etc.
- Investment scams. Many elderly individuals are looking for places to invest their money. As such, some scanners offer “investments” in the form of fake jewelry, uninhabitable property, or shares in a nonexistent company.
- Health or life insurance scams. Scammers prey on an individual’s concerns about health or end-of-life by offering policies that are already covered by the individual’s current plan or policies that don’t cover what was promised.
Fraud Committed by Friends, Family, or Caregivers
In addition to scams committed by strangers, there are many types of fraud committed by the people who are close to the elderly victim. Often, the most common financial crime committed by a person close to the elderly victim is theft (the taking of money or valuables). However, other types of fraud committed by family, friends, or caregivers can include:
- Signing or cashing pension or social security checks without permission
- Misusing ATM or credit cards
- Forcing or manipulating an elderly individual to hand over property or other resources
- Denying medical services to conserve funds
It is important to note that some types of fraud against the elderly are very subtle, such as convincing a mentally incapacitated family member to sign a power of attorney or change his/her will.
Defending Individuals Charged With Fraud
Fraud is a terrible act that involves taking advantage of other people for personal gain. However, citizens in the United States must have their rights upheld, including the rights of due process and the presumption of innocence. If you’re under investigation or have been charged with a financial crime, then you need the legal aid and expert defense services of the fraud attorneys at Grabel & Associates. We work closely with every client and always ensure that our client’s wishes are placed at the forefront of our defense strategy.
Because the prosecution has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the alleged offender committed the crime, our attorneys will pressure the prosecution’s narrative with some of the following strategies:
- Challenging the evidence and/or testimony
- Litigating that there’s insufficient evidence linking the defendant and the crime
- The defendant was making “false” statements in good faith, as opposed to “fraudulent” statements
- The defendant had no intention to commit a crime
- The defendant was a victim of entrapment
Contact the Fraud Attorneys at Grabel & Associates Today
When charged or under investigation for fraud, it is essential to contact a defense attorney as quickly as possible. Following a free consultation with our fraud attorneys, we’ll begin looking into every aspect of the prosecution’s charges (or proposed charges). Our goal is to keep you out of jail or, if the evidence is stacked against you, secure a reduced or alternative sentence. Although we’re based in Michigan, we offer a comprehensive and industry-leading defense to individuals charged with fraud by federal courts as well. To speak with one of our lawyers, contact us today by calling 1-800-342-7896.