Yesterday, President Obama took some time away from dealing with the oil spill to express his outrage at another big problem in this country - the continued threat of scammers going after older Americans. “Seniors are frequently targeted by scam artists," Obama said at a town hall event. "To all who would swindle and steal from seniors, we are going to find you. We will prosecute you and we will ultimately prevent those crimes from ever happening again."
The president pointed out a couple of tactics that scammers use to swindle seniors before announcing that the federal government has created Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) to help crack down on this problem.
Reports have shown that scammers are more likely to target older Americans. In 2009, 25% of all scam complaints filed with the Fraud Center at the National Consumers’ League came from people 56 and older. Hopefully, the administration’s new task force will help to decrease the number of seniors who get swindled, but in the meantime, there are several scams out there that older Americans need to be diligent in watching out for.
Here are the worst and strangest scams targeting the elderly.
Few scams are as costly to the elderly community and America as a whole as Medicare scams. This kind of fraud costs taxpayers $60 billion each year, and even worse, the crime itself is becoming more violent. ABC News reports that more armed gangs are getting involved with this kind of fraud, lured by the potential to make a lot of money.