Webinar VIDEO: Experts Discuss How to Protect Elderly from Scams


Scammers continue targeting older adults on Long Island and beyond, but how to address the issue and prevent loved ones from being victimized has evolved over the years, experts say.

Partners at the Melville-based laws firm of Cona Elder Law revealed the latest types of scams, why they happen and how to prevent them on Tuesday during a webinar hosted by Schneps Media.

“Scammers are taking voices of the grandchildren from their social media videos, and they can clone that voice to be the actual voice of grandchildren and have that be the voice on the phone,” said Jennifer Cona, who noted that crooks use artificial intelligence to perfect their scams.

In one common scam to watch for, a scammer will pretend to be a grandchild who needs money after recently being involved in a vehicle crash. The false sense of urgency leads victims to act fast without verifying the claims.

Arlene Markarian, a coordinator for two elder abuse prevention groups, said that older people can fall for things more easily due to the aging process and living alone. To prevent scams, Ken Kern, a special partner for Cona Elder Law, suggests estate planning and allocating resources. 

“A tool such as an irrevocable trust, if the bulk of their assets are transferred to that trust, it would no longer be accessible to any current scammers or future scammers,” Kern said, adding that measures should be taken quickly. 

Another important prevention tactic, according to Markarian and Melissa Negrin-Weiner, a special partner at Cona Elder Law, is keeping close tabs on your loved ones,  watching for behavioral changes and making sure they have support. 

Negrin-Weiner said: “If you are seeing someone you haven’t seen in a while, there are things that we always tell people to look out for.”

Watch the video of the webinar here!

More information and tips on scams and prevention can be found in the webinar, which is available on the Schneps Media YouTube channel. Contact Cona Elder Law at ConaElderLaw.com. Schneps Media is the parent company of the Long Island Press.