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Scammers targeting Florida seniors on estate sales and more

Regular readers of our Brevard County legal blog know that everyone has to be aware that there are some people are simply unscrupulous. Even though they might sound like honest business owners while they're on the phone, that is too often a glib facade meant to lure folks into handing over money, crucial financial documents or both.

We recently read an article on a number of scams that target seniors, including estate sale schemes. The author recalled a Florida estate sale company that defrauded clients by pocketing the proceeds of the sales and hanging on to the property as well. Clearly, scammers targeting people dealing with the loss of a loved one as well probate and estate administration are without principle or common decency.

The author of the article advises that you ask your realtor for recommendations of reliable estate sales firms. You can also ask the attorney helping you with estate planning or probate for their recommendations.

Another scam targeting seniors: movers who give favorable estimates for moving furniture and goods only to renege later and demand more money before their workers unload your belongings from their truck.

You can find reputable movers by contacting the American Moving and Storage Association or by asking friends, family and neighbors for recommendations.

A scam to avoid: fraudsters who are calling seniors and asking for information from their Medicare cards. The scammers ask for the Medicare number and sometimes ask for payment so that the senior can receive a new Medicare card.

It's ironic that people are getting calls about new Medicare cards. The irony is that the cards are being replaced over the next couple of years, with Social Security numbers being removed so that beneficiaries are better protected from ID theft.

If you suspect you are being targeted by scammers or have been victimized, contact law enforcement officials as soon as possible.

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