The Older The Victim, The Greater The Average Loss
Financial Elder Abuse Can Strike Any Senior
Reports of Suspicious Activity Up 300%
Seniors in Alameda Countyand throughout California are increasingly victims of financial elder abuse more than any other form of elder abuse. Caregivers, insurance agents, financial advisors, retirement planners, stock brokers, trustees, persons with Powers of Attorney and even court-appointed conservators financially exploit seniors through outright theft or more subtle financial maneuvers like selling unsuitable life insurance or annuities, promoting risky investments, churning stock accounts, or effecting estate plan changes. Our elder abuse litigators fight for the victims of financial elder abuse against all those responsible for any fraudulent scheme or act harming a senior. If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, call the elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at (415)441-8669.
The number of reported financial elder abuse incidents and the total dollar impact keep rising at alarming rates. Banks and other depository institutions saw the biggest increases in terms of number and percentages of elder financial exploitation reports with 3,000 to 4,000 monthly this year compared to 1,000 to 2,000 in 2013 to 2014. Total monetary loss has increased dramatically as well. One lawmaker noted that transactions involving suspected elder financial exploitation have increased from $3.7 billion in 2018 to more than $5 billion in the first eight months of 2019 alone. The older the senior, the greater the average economic loss, according to reports. Those same reports indicate that isolated seniors continue to be the most vulnerable group of all: 77% of all victims of financial elder abuse live alone.
Spotting Financial Elder Abuse
Stay active in an elderly loved one’s life, particularly if they live alone. If they have in-house help be especially vigilant. Drop by unexpectedly, speak with your loved one in private and look for signs of possible financial elder abuse:
- Unexpected changes in wills, trusts, or powers of attorney. Never ever give a Power of Attorney to a senior’s caregiver
- Sale to the senior of an inappropriate annuity or life insurance policy.
- Changes in spending habits and cash withdrawals or different types of spending than the senior normally incurs.
- An unexplained increase in check cashing, transfers of money, ATM withdrawals, or credit card activity.
- Opening of a new bank or brokerage account (or multiple accounts) or changing banks and brokerage firms.
- Unpaid bills.
- Unusual increase in investment activity or change in investment style toward riskier or unregistered investments.
- A senior who is overly reluctant to discuss financial matters perhaps out of fear from retaliation from a caregiver or other abuser.
- Allowing a new “friend” or caregiver to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf.
- A caregiver or other person screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail.
Never ever give a Power of Attorney to a caregiver; our litigators have seen so many cases of financial elder abuse begin from that single mistake. Report any suspicions to the authorities but also contact elder abuse counsel. The financial elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm will pursue all available remedies against those responsible, including damages, rescission (undoing a fraudulent transaction), restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish illegal behavior), and the award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your action.
If you or someone you love is the victim of financial elder abuse by a conservator, caregiver, trustee, stock broker, insurance agent, financial advisor or other party in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans and the other financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with securities, annuity, and other investment fraud, financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases including offshore tax avoidance cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.