This newsletter is from Peck Ritchey, LLC | Send to Friend | Subscribe | Web Version


A Note from Peck Ritchey

April 9, 2020

Clients, Colleagues and Friends,

We at Peck Ritchey, LLC hope that you and your families are safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. While there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the challenges we face and will continue to face due to COVID-19, we want you to know that Peck Ritchey, LLC is dedicated to serving you and will continue to do so.

In order to protect employees and clients during this pandemic, we are conducting business remotely in an effort to provide continued and uninterrupted services to our clients and colleagues. While we are working to keep business as usual during changing times, we wanted to provide you with some updates.

On March 17, 2020, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans of the Circuit Court of Cook County postponed most cases for a 30-day period due to the spread of COVID-19. On March 30, 2020, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans of the Circuit Court of Cook County extended the postponement of many cases through May 18, 2020.

While most cases are being postponed, judges are hearing matters on an emergency basis. Rest assured, our office is still here to help. If you need assistance with emergency estate planning, emergency guardianship for a loved one (appointment of a decision-maker for someone incapable of making decisions), administration of an estate or trust, or contesting or defending an estate plan or trust, we're here for you. 

If we can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are doing our best to move cases forward as it is allowed.

Stay safe and healthy! We wish everyone a Happy Passover and Happy Easter! 

Best regards,

Peck Ritchey, LLC

Beware of COVID-19 Scams!

Have you been scammed? Call us at (312) 201-0900.

"...Old scam, new twist

Reports to the AARP Helpline of coronavirus-related scams include texts that offer “rapid screening” for the disease, but include a link that will download malware (malicious software). In a twist on grandparent scams, people are hearing from “grandchildren” stating they were racing to get tested because they had a fever and chills and got pulled over for speeding and need money to get out of jail.

Amy Nofziger, AARP's director of Fraud Victim Support and its fraud helpline, says government agencies and legitimate firms never ask for payment with a prepaid gift card or wire transfer. To help prevent fraud, people can keep near their phone a “refusal script” indicating they don't give data or money.

"Scammers know that most of us are home right now and already under some amount of stress,” Nofziger says, “so they will use this opportunity to victimize you."

Read the full article here: Federal Trade Commission Says Nearly $6 Million Lost to Coronavirus Fraud


Scammers take advantage of coronavirus fear and confusion to steal from seniors 

This is a scary time for all of us and especially frightening for isolated seniors.

Thousands of scammers and thieves are taking advantage of public fear and confusion around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to sell fake goods and services as well as to load malware onto people’s phones and computers.

As always, vulnerable seniors are a top target for these fraudsters.

Protect older adults by being aware of the fake products and services that claim to treat or cure coronavirus, provide financial help, or map the virus’ spread.

These scams are happening via telephone, text, email, social media and even in person.

We share some popular coronavirus scams and 7 ways to protect seniors from coronavirus scams and fraud.


Popular coronavirus scams include

  • Get free iPhones by clicking a link in a text message – loads malware that spies on you
  • Counterfeit face masks and hand sanitizer 
  • Fraudulent home test kits for coronavirus
  • Undelivered goods from fake sellers – they promise to sell you a sold out product like face masks, take your money, and don’t deliver anything
  • Emails, texts, apps, or websites that claim to track the spread of the virus, but get you to download ransomware onto your device that blocks your access and holds your phone or computer for ransom
  • Fake supplements, lotions, toothpastes, teas, etc. that claim to cure or treat coronavirus
  • Religious or faith-based miracle cures
  • CBD-based cures and treatments
  • Fake charity organizations
  • Robocalls pitching a variety of scams
  • Fake payday loans
  • Fake work-from-home schemes

7 ways to protect seniors from coronavirus scams and fraud

1. Stay involved in their life
The most important thing is to stay connected with your older adult and keep up with what’s going on in their life.

If you’re not able to be there in person, speak regularly over telephone or video calls.

Loneliness and uncertainty about the current outbreak increases the chances that seniors could believe a scammer’s reassuring lies.

Prevent this by staying involved in their life. Not only does it show that you’re there for them, it helps protect them from the risks associated with isolation and loneliness – something we’re all feeling right now.

2. Be aware of current coronavirus scams
Scammers have created dozens of ways to steal money from people who are scared or worried because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A good first step is to get familiar with popular coronavirus scams so you can share the information with your older adult.

Educate them about different types of scams that are going around. 

Right now, we’re seeing scammers taking advantage of victims using telephone, email, social media, or websites and even in person.

These scammers might pose as government officials, sell fake cures, or offer fake information services to supposedly keep people informed.

Older adults may not be aware that people would do such terrible things or that they can be so sneaky and clever. 

To familiarize yourself with current scams, here are some helpful news articles:

3. Get up-to-date coronavirus fraud prevention tips online
The fraud section on has great information about different types of scams, including those taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.

Snopes also created the Coronavirus Collection to fact-check all the misinformation and fake news that’s spreading like wildfire.

The website offers helpful fraud protection tips and posts regular updates and information. hasn’t yet tailored their information for coronavirus scams, but many of the current scams are variations on “classic” scams.

4. Stay alert to signs of fraud
Another way to protect your older adult is to keep an eye out for signs of potential financial fraud while encouraging them to share information about their life with you.

They might tell you about a wonderful new supplement that protects against coronavirus, a special service from the United Nations that sends COVID-19 home test kits, a subscription news service that shares top-secret outbreak information the government won’t tell you about, or a special source for currently sold out face masks and hand sanitizer.

When you’re aware that they’ve been taken in by a scammer, you can explain why it’s dangerous to use those fraudulent products or services. 

By doing this, you’ll be taking steps to prevent or stop lasting damage like credit card/bank account number theft, identity theft, or malware on their phone or computer.

5. Verify with a trusted individual
Let your older adult know they should always consult with you or another trusted person before purchasing any of these types of products or giving out any personal or financial information.

Remind them that your only goal is to help them avoid ruthless scam artists and that you aren’t trying to control their actions.

6. Teach seniors about online and social media fraud
Online fraud is currently on the rise, especially now that we’re all staying at home.

Educate your older adult on the dangers of connecting with people online and through social media as well as how common it is for internet fraudsters to pretend they’re someone else or represent a reputable organization.

7. Be supportive and sensitive after a scam
If your older adult gets scammed, they may feel ashamed and embarrassed about falling for the scheme. That could make them reluctant to talk about what happened.

Responding warmly and non-judgmentally helps seniors feel supported and be more willing to discuss the situation with professionals like law enforcement, lawyers, or financial advisors.


By DailyCaring Editorial Team

Click here to visit article on DailyCaring website: Coronavirus Scam Alert: 7 Tips for How Seniors Can Avoid Them

COVID-19: People Who Need Extra Precautions

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness. COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more about it every day.

What you can do

  • Stay home.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.

Stress and coping

Older people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 which may result in increased stress during a crisis.

Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
  • If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call
    • 911
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)


Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Watch for fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Information for People with Loved Ones in Senior Living Facilities

People with loved ones in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of senior living facilities may be understandably concerned about their loved one’s risk of illness from COVID-19. To protect these vulnerable friends and family members, CDC has advised that long-term care facilities restrict visitors, regularly check healthcare workers and residents for fevers and symptoms, and limit activities within the facility to keep residents safe.

Information taken from the CDC: CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - People Who Need Extra Precautions - Older Adults.

Helpful COVID-19 Articles

Staying Connected to Family Members in a Nursing Home When Visits are Banned

The spread of the coronavirus to nursing home residents has caused the federal government to direct nursing homes to restrict visitor access. Families are having to find new ways to stay in touch.  

Medicare is Expanding Telehealth Services During Coronavirus Pandemic

The federal government is broadly expanding coverage of Medicare telehealth services to beneficiaries and relaxing HIPAA enforcement, which will give doctors the ability to provide more services to patients remotely. 

Don't want to receive these emails? Unsubscribe.