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Elder Scams and POAs: Protecting Yourself from AI-Powered Fraud

Elder Scams and POAs: Protecting Yourself from AI-Powered Fraud
Scammers now use AI to make convincing voice clones and deep-fake videos. Find out about AI elder scams and POA’s potential to protect your finances.

Technology is rapidly evolving. That’s not always a good thing. Here at Beck, Lenox and Stolzer Estate Planning and Elder Law, we want to talk about elder scams and POAs: protecting yourself from AI-powered fraud.  We have learned about our own clients being scammed on occasion. We were also recently made aware of one elderly woman who, on multiple occasions, has tried to buy Apple gift cards in denominations of $500, $1,000 and even $2,000 at her local drugstore. The store didn’t want to get involved, but it was likely that she was an ongoing victim of a phone scam. The latest technology makes it easier for scammers to target the elderly. As Fedweek reports, criminals use AI to devise hard-to-detect, convincing scams. Families and older individuals must learn how to handle this new threat to their finances.

How are AI-Powered Scams Deceiving Seniors?

Scammers now use AI to clone voices and create deep-fake videos or images, artificially generated by a special kind of machine learning called “deep.” This makes it hard to identify them as fake, allowing them to impersonate trusted family members, authorities, or organizations. Targeting your emotions with fake emergencies is often their favorite strategy.

AI Elder Scam Tactics to Watch

Fraudsters pretend to be distressed loved ones, urging immediate money transfers. All they need is a few seconds of a person’s real voice recording, which AI can replicate with surprising accuracy. They can then create a convincing plea for help. Even if it sounds slightly off, the fear and concern these messages create can distract the victim and trick them.

Another tactic involves AI-personalized phishing emails. Before AI, spam filters and other tools could often detect malicious emails. However, AI makes it easy for scammers to mimic real messages and get past spam filters. These sophisticated, emotionally manipulative strategies make it hard to tell authentic and fake messages apart. Criminals need little personal information to create convincing scams and defraud you.

What Precautions can Be Taken?

Many steps you can take to protect yourself from the new generation of elder scams are the same as ever. Don’t trust calls from strange numbers, don’t follow links from emails if you can avoid it and keep a clear head when someone tries to tell you there’s an emergency. However, you can also take new steps to identify those impersonating your loved ones. Three key steps you should take are:

  • Don’t Share Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing details with unknown contacts.
  • No Money Transfers: Avoid sending money to unknown accounts or addresses. No legitimate business is going to request payment via a gift card.
  • Use a Keyword: Establish a private family-only keyword for emergency calls to verify the caller’s identity.

Using Elder Law to Protect against Scams

Proactive elder law strategies aren’t just for managing your inheritance. They’re also crucial for safeguarding your assets during your life. Here are a few ways estate planning can help protect you from fraud:

  • Power of Attorney: Elder scams have been on the rise for a prolonged time, and POAs can help. Choose a trusted person to manage financial affairs and prevent unauthorized transactions.
  • Living Trusts: Placing assets in a trust can ensure protection and management by someone reliable.
  • Advanced Directives: Clear instructions can prevent unauthorized decision-making.

Elder Scams and POAs: Protecting Yourself from AI-Powered Fraud

Don’t let scammers threaten your family’s financial well-being. Create a thorough, advanced estate plan that uses trusts and powers of attorney to secure your finances. Call our law firm today to protect yourself and ensure peace of mind. A free phone consultation with one of our Beck, Lenox and Stolzer attorneys is available and may be scheduled here.

Key Takeaways

  • AI-Powered Scams on the Rise: AI elder scams use technology to conduct convincing scams. Cloning voices and creating deep fake videos pose a new challenge to the elderly.
  • Common Targets: Seniors are common targets for AI fraud. These frequently center on emotionally manipulative “family emergency” scams and phishing emails.
  • Protective Measures: Avoid sharing personal information and sending money to unknown contacts. Establish a family keyword to verify emergency calls.
  • Elder Law Strategies: Anyone can face elder scams, and POAs, estate planning and living trusts are valuable protective tools.

Reference: Fedweek (Jan. 17, 2024), Scams against Older Persons Now Increasingly AI-Powered, Report Says

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