COYLE & WYTYCHAK
ELDER LAW NEWS
June 2019, Volume 2, Issue 18
WHAT IS GOING ON?
PARKING UPDATE- There are now tenants in the long- abandoned property to the East of us on Garden, and
they have asked us to request that our clients not park in that parking lot. We have plenty of street parking and
you can always use our driveway as long as it is not already occupied.
Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior will be presented by the Alzheimer’s Association
on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 from 1 to 3 pm at the Area Agency on Aging in Coeur d’ Alene. Contact (800)
27203900 for details.
We will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2019 for Independence Day.
We now accept credit cards through our website, www.CWELP.com! Click on the “Payments” tab on the home
page to be directed to the LawPay website.
Check out Coyle and Wytychak Elder Law on Facebook! “Like” us to stay informed and hear about events in the
senior community. Search for Coyle & Wytychak Elder Law. Share our page with your friends and family so
they can also take advantage of the informative articles and information!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself,
any direction you choose.”
- Dr. Seuss
AGING AND FINANCIAL VULNERABILITY- BY REBECCA EYMAN
It is estimated that seniors lose $36 billion a year from financial fraud. Those who have been scammed know
that the results can be devastating and getting your money back nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, seniors are more likely to be targeted by scammers than younger generations. This is in part
because seniors have retirement and savings set aside that can be targeted. A 2016 study indicated that people
over 50 years of age own 83% of the wealth in America. Seniors can also suffer from cognitive decline or
socially isolation, making them vulnerable to financial abuse. However, new research has suggested that as we
age, changes in our brains make us less likely to be able to recognize a scam.
Doctors have focused their research on older people who are otherwise on the ball – no memory loss, no
confusion, and no cognitive impairment – yet they appear to be at a higher risk of being abused financially by a
stranger or family member. It appears that as we got older, our brains start to have more trouble recognizing
when someone is trying to mislead or cheat us.
Until scientists find a way to combat this change in the aging brain, awareness of the most common types of
scams is a good way to protect yourself.
Some common signs of a scam include:
Fake phone call from jail: Some scammers call older people and try to trick them into believing their
grandchild has been arrested and needs bail money immediately. Receiving such a call would be
extremely stressful and it’s tempting to react quickly, but it’s best to verify this information first before
sending money by calling another family member or the jail directly to confirm the situation.
Computer speed: Be extremely cautious of an unsolicited promise to make your computer run faster.
Never, under any circumstances, should you allow remote access to your computer to a stranger. The
result is often the installation of spyware, malware, or ransomware, which can be very difficult to
IRS/outstanding warrant: Frequently, scammers claim to be from a government agency, including the
IRS, Social Security Agency, or a law enforcement agency. The goal is to frighten you by making you
believe you owe back taxes or that there is a warrant for your arrest. Remember, these agencies will
never contact you by telephone. Important notices will arrive via mail.
Gift cards: It’s very common for scammers to request payment in the form of gift cards. If any
individual claiming to be from the IRS, a law enforcement agency, or a business requests that you
provide gift cards, be immediately wary.
Pop-up messages: Pop-up messages on your browser can look very official. Sometimes, a pop-up can
tell you that a computer virus has been detected, or that you’ve won a prize. Pop-ups can even use logos
from companies to look more legitimate. Be wary of pop-ups, and install pop-up blockers on your
browser to avoid these pitfalls.
Prizes and sweepstakes: Remember: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of
winning prizes or sweepstakes out of the blue. Many times, scammers will attempt you to pay for “fees”
up front to receive your phony prize.
When it comes to unsolicited phone calls or online offers, it’s good to use the “smell test” – if it stinks, there’s
likely something fishy going on. If you’re not sure if the contact you have received is a scam, consider reaching
out to a family member or law enforcement to be absolutely sure. The Federal Trade Commission and
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also have helpful resources on recognizing scams and what to do if
you’re the victim of fraud.