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5 Common Elder Scams Every Senior Should Know



Unfortunately, scams targeting the elderly are on the rise and fraudulent telemarketers targeting seniors account for up to 80% of their calls.

Did you know that our senior population is expected to double by 2060?

81% of seniors are also homeowners, and they are more likely to live alone—a staggering 12.5 million older adults.

It’s clear to see why seniors are the most vulnerable demographic when it comes to fraud and abuse. According to Bunny Dachs of Bunny’s Home Care Baltimore “The grandparent scam has become common. This is when someone calls a senior pretending to be their grandchild in need of money. They ask their grandparent to wire them the money that they desperately need, and ask them not to tell their parents because they would be furious. “

Today we will be going over common elder scams that every senior should know.

Getting educated about how they work is the first step towards prevention.

Our comprehensive guide includes information on:

  • Medicare Fraud
  • Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
  • Funeral Scams
  • Telemarketing Scams
  • Reverse Mortgage Fraud
  • Lottery Scams
  • Grandparent Scams

Learn about all of the warning signs and prevent your loved one from being the victim of an elder scam. According to Bunny Dachs, owner of Bunny’s Home Care Baltimore “Seniors are more

1. Medicare Fraud

Since every U.S. citizen is eligible for Medicare at the age of 65, scammers do little to no work at all in researching what type of insurance your loved one has.

Here are the most common cases of Medicare fraud:

  • Callers posing as representatives from Medicare asking for personal information
  • Medicare number can be stolen and used to provide services for someone else
  • Scammers delivering “free” products that are then billed to Medicare
  • Medical providers can bill for unnecessary services or services that were never received

Prevention Tips

  • Keep your Medicare number safe
  • Review your statements regularly
  • Never sign blank insurance forms
  • Don’t accept “free” supplies

2. Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

Did you know that over 57% of those 65 years and older want to do healthcare over the internet? Just as seniors are susceptible to fraudsters and scams in real life, fake online pharmacies with counterfeit drugs are a rising concern.

There are several risks of purchasing counterfeit prescription drugs:

  • Placebo or medically worthless drugs
  • Disguised as another drug
  • Improper dosages
  • Weakened drugs
  • Drugs that haven’t been approved by the FDA
  • Improper storage and shipment

Since 2010, nearly over 1,400 adverse reactions due to counterfeit prescription drugs have been reported to the FDA.

AARP says, “If a price seems too good to be true, don’t buy.”

Prevention Tips

  • Use a regular pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, Local)
  • Websites should be: Located in the United States (with a locatable office and phone number)Licensed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Have a listed Licensed Pharmacist to answer any questions Requires you to provide a prescription

3. Telemarketing Fraud

Phone scams are often hard to trace—and many seniors are victim to telemarketing fraudsters.

There are several ways a scammer will try and sell you bogus products and services:

  • Pressuring the senior into making a quick decision in order to receive their “lottery winnings” or “free” vacation by sending the scammer a money fee or risk losing everything to a runner up
  • Using other people who are in on the scam to pose as authority figures like lawyers and bankers to validify their fraud
  • Making the product or service look too good for the senior to pass up like low cost health care solutions

Did you know that fake charities also solicit seniors for donations?

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the FBI estimated that over 4,000 websites were set up to receive donations. These websites were hosted on foreign servers and used similar sounding names as legitimate charity organizations to trick seniors into making a fake donations. Seniors can expect an uptick in fake charity solicitation right after a natural disaster or man-made disaster as these fraudsters will rush to capitalize on tragedy to receive money.

Callers may even pose as a senior’s grandchild on the phone.

“The Grandparent Scheme” is when the fraudster will call a senior pretending they are one of their long lost grandchildren that they haven’t spoken to in a long time. Usually, the scam involves a fake accident that never happened or “legal troubles” like needing bail money.

Prevention Tips

  • Never send money over the phone
  • Watch out for aggressive sales tactics
  • Verify a person’s or company’s identity with a simple online search
  • Use websites like and to see if a charity organization is legitimate

4. Internet Fraud

While young adults are more likely to use the internet, seniors are adopting the technology at much higher rates.

82% of seniors also see smartphones as a liberating experience.

However, scammers are well aware of this and are looking to prey upon seniors online as well.

Email phishing is a way online fraudsters trick seniors into giving up important personal information. A legitimate looking email will be sent to the victim’s inbox posing as a well known company and either direct seniors to a website “phishing” for their information. Clicking a suspicious link can install a virus such as keyloggers—a type of virus that can be used to track what a senior types into their keyboard. Scammers can use this to steal passwords and credit card information.

Prevention Tips

  • Downloading free anti-virus software like Avira or Malwarebytes can help remove malicious files from a senior’s computer
  • Never click on suspicious links
  • Be wary of web addresses that appear to be legitimate but imitates real company websites
  • Check online reviews of companies before buying
  • Is there a phone number or physical address that you can verify

5. Funeral Fraud

Often at the most vulnerable point after a devastating loss of a loved one, a widowed senior and their family can be victim to funeral fraud.

A fraudster will try and rope a senior into paying for services and items that are either unnecessary or overpriced. Many times, they prey on their victim’s unfamiliarity of the funeral process.

See these tips from the FTC about preventing funeral fraud:

  • What are you paying for? Are you buying only merchandise, like a casket and vault, or are you purchasing funeral services as well?
  • What happens to the money you’ve prepaid? States have different requirements for handling funds paid for prearranged funeral services.
  • What happens to the interest income on money that is prepaid and put into a trust account?
  • Are you protected if the firm you dealt with goes out of business?
  • Can you cancel a contract and get a full refund if you change your mind?
  • What happens if you move to a different area or die while away from home? Some prepaid funeral plans can be transferred, but often at an added cost.
  • Be sure to tell your family about the plans you’ve made and where your documents are located.

Other Prevention Tips for Common Elder Scams

  • Consider becoming your loved one’s power of attorney if they have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to keep an eye on their finances
  • Due diligence like using Google or Bing to find more information about the person or company can prevent your loved one from becoming a victim of a scam
  • Caregivers can help seniors answer calls and monitor visitors at their home
  • Guardianship can be granted by courts to protect a senior with cognitive deficits either by a family member or professional individual like an elder attorney


The Mayor of Times Square Meets One of the World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivors



I arrived to a packed lecture room at a Library in South Florida.   This lecture caught my eye weeks prior and I made sure to have it in my calendar.  After all, how many more times will I get a chance to hear a 99 year old survivor tell his remarkable story of inconceivable hell, survival and ultimately impressive success?   What I heard in the room that day was hard to fathom it wasn’t part of a Spielberg movie with some creative liberty thrown in to embellish an already unbelievable true story.  This was the real deal.  A vivid description of hell on earth.  What I couldn’t understand is how did this survivor go on to create a vibrant family and a very successful business career and not be bitter every day of his life?   Equally remarkable is how someone his age could tell a story from 85 years ago as if it happened yesterday and with energy and charisma of someone half his age.  He spoke for 45 minutes without a break.  Little did anyone in the audience know that, just prior to arriving at the Library, he fell and injured himself, making his perseverance in even making it to the Library even more heroic.  This is no ordinary man.   I approached the stage after the lecture, patiently awaited my turn to speak with him and asked if I could interview him for my podcast.  I am pretty sure he knew little to nothing of what a podcast was, but he agreed as you are about to learn why telling his story over and over is his divine mission.

Eli Marcus and Sam Ron

Sam Ron bears personal witness to the greatest atrocity in human history. He is one of the only remaining Holocaust Survivors his age who survived four concentration camps…and a Death March.  He turns 99 in July.  His story is remarkable…and he himself is equally as remarkable.

Here’s what you will learn when listening to this World Exclusive interview on The Motivation Show podcast:

-Where did Sam grow up and what was life like before the Germans invaded his country

-How life changed once the Germans invaded and how long did the changes take

-Why and when did Sam and his family decide to go into hiding and where did he hide

-How did Sam end up in the Krakow Ghetto, how was it different than the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, and what took place in the Ghetto

-When did Sam first realize that the Germans were not just transporting Jews to what they disguised as labor camps, but were actually killing them.

-How many times was Sam transported in cattle cars and what was that like

-Which concentration camps was Sam in & what were they like

-What was life like in the concentration camps and why did they move Sam around to different camps

-What is a Death March, why and how did that happen and how did Sam survive it

-What lessons should listeners take away from Sam’s experience

-What does Never Again mean to Sam and why is it so important for him to share this and other Holocaust lessons

You can listen to this interview on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link:    WARNING:  This interview is GUARANTEED to move you to tears!!!

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Events In April Bring Easter, Spring and Flowers Galore.



Photograph: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc.

Join the Judy Garland and Fred Astaire tradition with the Easter Bonnet Parade on Fifth Avenue. There is also the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden or right at home the flower show at Macy’s. On select Fridays every month, you can enjoy Free Admission to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum between 5 pm and 9 pm.

Until 4/9: Macy’s Flower ShowThe show includes beautiful, bright floral arrangements, special events including live music, and kids’ activities.

until 4/23: This is The Orchid Show‘s 20th year. Reconnect with nature while experiencing the picture-perfect beauty of the orchids. On select nights, adults can experience the exhibition through Orchid Nights, with music, cash bars, and food available for purchase.

4/1-30: Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival, hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, celebrates Japanese culture and the arrival of spring. It features a variety of cultural performances and activities, as well as a small flea market, tea ceremonies, and crafts. The highlight is the magnificent display of cherry blossom trees, with over 200 trees in full bloom. Visitors can admire the pink and white blooms and enjoy a traditional Japanese atmosphere. Tickets are usually around $40 for adults, though seniors and students get a reduced rate of $35.

4/7-16th: The New York International Auto ShowThe first new york Auto Show took place in 1900, for over 120 years now they have been sharing what’s new and interesting in the auto industry.

4/9: The Easter Parade starts near St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 10am. The tradition dates back to the 1870s, where elaborate bonnets and fashion galore is full frontal.

4/9: “Georgia O’Keeffe: To See Takes Time,” comes to MoMA.

4/15: The Tartan Day Parade is an NYC tradition that offers attendees a unique way to celebrate and honor Scottish culture. For the 25th year, there will be bagpipes, dancers, and even Scottish dogs marching in the parade. Attendance is free and open to the public. In addition to the parade, expect a whole week of Scottish-themed events and festivities.

4/15: Pillow Fight in the Park at Washington Square Park.

4/15: The New York Restoration Project is giving out 3,500 free trees to New Yorkers across all five boroughs. To get one of the 3,500 free trees that will be given away, register in advance on this website, where you’ll also get to browse through the current list of distribution dates, times and locations.

4/15 and 29: f the likes of udon, yakitori, ramen, and taiyaki make your mouth water, then mark your calendar for Japan Fes in Chelsea. The event will be held from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and is considered a paradise for Japanese foodies and cultural enthusiasts.

4/16: Holi in The City demands food, music, dance, and fun while embracing people and organizations from all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

4/22: Earth Day celebrated in NYC with a festive, family-friendly outdoor fair in Union Square. There will be dozens of exhibitors, interactive displays, a green-vehicle show, family activities, music, and entertainment. 12-6pm.

4/27: Attend The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience

4/27- 30: Antiquarian Book Fair now in its 63rd year, this festival for book collectors at Park Avenue Armory for a full weekend of first editions, maps, manuscripts and other treasures from literary epochs past from nearly 200 exhibitors.


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Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo, George Pettignano Bring Patsy’s Italian Restaurant To Life



Patsy’s Italian Restaurant has been known for years as the restaurant made famous by Frank Sinatra, and his family still enjoys dining here whenever they are in town. George Clooney’s aunt, cabaret singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, was once quoted, “Patsy’s is still the best Italian restaurant in town. I make a pasta pilgrimage there every time I return.”

Other long-time high profile patrons who consider Patsy’s Italian Restaurant their Manhattan dining room include, Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, George Clooney, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Tony Danza, Jennifer Lopez, Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, Rihanna, Martha Stewart, Ben Stiller, Oprah Winfrey, and many others.

Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo

We all had the pleasure to join Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo for a very special Private Lunch on March 18th hosted City Guide and Eli Marcus.

Eli Marcus,George Pettignano

Chef Sal shared some of his riveting stories about celebrities, sports stars and others famous guests. Ha also told us a few one-of-a-kind frank Sinatra stories about Frank’s exclusive table near we were seated.

Popular entertainer George Pettignano, a cousin of Bobby Rydell, sang classic tunes from the 40’s to 70’s ranging from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, The Beatles, Elvis & more!  George, as a former Hollywood stunt man, shared some of his classic stories

Eli Marcus

Everyone enjoyed a great meal and then danced the afternoon away!

Eli Marcus, Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo, Errol Rappaport

Errol Rappaport, Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo,Eli Marcus

Steve Garrin, wife, George Pettignano

Colin O’Leary Celebrity Chef Sal Scognamillo,Rena Sylvester, Eli Marcus

Colin O’Leary,Rena SylvesterErrol Rappaport

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