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Financial Elder Abuse
Financial Exploitation of Seniors

The improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets constitutes financial exploitation or abuse. An exploiter can be an individual, an institution, or even someone who has power of attorney for the elder.

Obvious examples of financial exploitation include cashing an elderly person’s checks without authorization, forging an older person’s signature, misusing or stealing an older person’s money or possessions, or deceiving an older person into signing any contract, will, or other document.

Another issue is telemarketing scams that target the senior community. Telemarketing fraud robs at least $40 billion annually, according to Congressional estimates, & surveys by the American Association of Retired Persons indicate that over half of those victims are age 50 or older. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that there are and estimated 14,000 illegal telemarketing operations bilking consumers every day.

How to Recognize Elder Financial Abuse & Scams

Symptoms of financial exploitation include:

  • Sudden bank account changes, especially an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money when accompanied by another;
     
  • Additional unexplained names of an elder's bank signature card;
  • Disappearance of funds or valuable possessions;
  • The provision of substandard care despite adequate finances;
  • Sudden transfer to assets or changes in a will;
  • An elder’s report of financial exploitation;
  • Receiving lots of junk mail for contests, free trips, prizes and sweepstakes;
  • Getting frequent calls from strangers offering valuable awards or great money-making opportunities, or asking for charitable contributions;
     
  • Making repeated and/or large payments to out-of-state companies;
  • Having payments picked up by private courier services;
  • Receiving many cheap items such as costume jewelry, small appliances, pens and pencils, beauty products, water filters, etc. These are often purchased in order to win supposedly valuable prizes or these were the prizes they received by the possible scam.

Robbing the Seniors Pride

Financial abuse can rob a senior of self-esteem and trust, as well as of their means of subsistence. Although financial exploitation does not leave physical scars, it is a serious and shameful crime. If you or your elderly relative has been a victim of financial abuse, we would like to be of assistance.

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