Rescuing the elderly from financial fraud

These MONEY heroes keep an eye out for the financial security of nursing-home residents and other seniors who may be targeted for fraud.

Old money, new scams

finance scam

Creativity knows no bounds, unfortunately, when it comes to criminals trying to separate older adults from their money.

Here's how to protect your loved ones from some of the latest senior swindles:

Fake medical IDs

Fraudsters, reports AARP, have started telling people that the Affordable Care Act mandates a new government insurance card -- obtained by supplying their bank account info and their Medicare ID. No such card exists; for real changes to Medicare, visit medicare.gov.

Related: Taxpayer guide to Obamacare

Misdirected Social Security

Taking advantage of the Social Security Administration's new online system, scammers posing as SSA employees obtain personal data from seniors, then reroute checks to their account. So open an account ASAP, before a thief does; if you receive an unexpected SSA acknowledgment of an account change, call 800-772-1213.

Fire-sale pensions

Seniors with pensions, report FINRA and the SEC, are being offered upfront cash for their future payments. The catch: The deals can be awfully stingy, and they may be illegal too. Better options, says Columbus, Ohio, planner Jill Gianola, are a personal line of credit from a bank, or an FHA-approved reverse mortgage.

-- Hailey Lee

  @Money - Last updated September 11 2013 05:29 PM ET
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