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May 14, 2021 by |

Alameda County Financial Elder And Dependent Abuse Attorney: Alleged Identity Theft And Unauthorized Credit Card Use By Caregiver

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Caregiver Allegedly Made Withdrawals With Senior’s ATM Card

Stolen Money Sent Out Of United States

Another Caregiver Alerts Police

Forced isolation of seniors here in Alameda County as a result of the coronavirus has increased senior and dependent vulnerability to abuse from all directions and separated seniors from the persons who really do love them and would be protect them from such abuse if possible. Cases of financial elder abuse are particularly increasing partly because caregivers or others who would exploit seniors for money believe they are more likely to get away with theft during periods of increased isolation.  Of all the factors behind financial elder abuse, isolation is a common denominator with almost cases. Evans Law Firm. Inc. represents victims of financial abuse from caregivers or other persons, and pursue all persons responsible, including the owners of caregiver agencies if applicable.  Call us today at (415)441-8669 if any senior loved one has suffered any kind of financial elder or dependent adult abuse here in Alameda County or elsewhere in California.

Recent Example Of Financial Elder Abuse Allegations

In one recently reported case[1],  a caregiver was arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $35,000 from a 92-year-old woman she had been hired to care for, according to the police. The money was sent to the cregiver’s family in Mexico and used to open up bank accounts and other financial accounts, authorities said. Money started disappearing almost immediately after the 92-year-old woman hired the caregiver according to the authorities. Grabbing the woman’s ATM card and personal ID number from her nightstand, officials allege, the caregiver withdrew $1,000 at a time and deposited the money into her own accounts.  The caregiver is also accused of using the woman’s credit cards to buy things for herself over the phone. Money was allegedly transferred from the woman’s trust funds into the bank account to help hide the withdrawals, according to the authorities.  Investigators are tallying the losses, but the stolen amount could be more than $100,000, according to one detective.  When the caregiver called in sick one day last month, another worker took her place. When the mail arrived at her charge’s home, the replacement caregiver showed the client a bank statement.  Authorities said the suspect had been hiding the woman’s bank statements from her to cover up the missing money.

Protecting Elder And Dependent Adults From Abuse

The reported case illustrates how quickly a new caregiver may take money from an older victim.  Luckily, another caregiver was helpful in reporting what had happened. But that was only a fortunate occurrence and not a reliable way of monitoring a senior loved one’s circumstances. Family involvement in an isolated senior’s or dependent/disabled person’s life is the surest way to prevent financial abuse. In-person contact may still be off-limits if the senior or dependent adult (or you) have not yet been vaccinated.  But regular phone calls are important and, better yet,  Zoom or Facetime are good ways to communicate if the technology is available. Beyond that, you can also monitor credit cards and bank accounts online and we encourage you to do so.  You also may want to redirect mail to your own address so any caregivers or other strangers in a senior or dependent adult’s home do not have access to mail.  Also, make sure that financial information like account numbers and Social Security numbers are kept away from a caregiver’s glance.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver.  Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents Alameda County elder and dependent adults who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse.  Ingrid and our other attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or email us at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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