Cash, Checks, and Caregivers
The Danger of Checking Accounts in Easy Reach
Preventing Caregiver Theft
In-home caregivers have access to a senior’s cash, bank accounts, important papers and other valuables if you don’t take precautions to prevent such access. Greedy caregivers strike quickly and one of their schemes is often to access a senior’s bank accounts online, over the phone or even in person. If they can’t gain access easily, they may break in to get at cash and valuables. In one recently reported case, police arrested a caregiver who allegedly stole over $100,000 from a senior’s checking account by writing checks to herself and causing bank checks to be issued to her. The Marin County elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors in Marin County and throughout California victimized by any form of caregiver theft or financial elder abuse. If you or someone you know is a victim of financial elder abuse in Marin County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
In the reported case, the victim’s family alerted police after they detected the suspicious withdrawals. Police later discovered that the caregiver was previously convicted of financial elder abuse of an earlier patient. She had not divulged the conviction to the home healthcare agency that hired her and assigned her to her latest victim, according to the police.
Steps to Protect Yourself or a Senior Loved One From Abuse and Fraud:
• Always run a background check and contact references for any in-home caregiver before hiring them even if you are going through an agency. A background check on the caregiver in the reported case might have uncovered her alleged prior conviction.
• Never ever grant a Power of Attorney to a caregiver or show them a trust, Will or other financial papers.
• Keep cash, checks, ATM cards, credit cards, and bank account numbers out of reach.
• Lock up jewelry and silver in a safe place. If jewelry, silver and gold are accessible they may be gone in a flash. Make an inventory of the personal property in the senior’s home.
• Never designate a caregiver as an authorized signer on any bank account.
• Never share a senior’s Social Security number with anyone, particularly an in-home caregiver.
• Frequently review the senior’s bank statements, records and mail.
• Speak to the senior alone, without the caregiver present, to find out any problems they may be having.
Report any suspicions to the police but also call elder abuse counsel to pursue all civil remedies available to senior victims under California elder abuse law. Our lawyers handle elder abuse cases of all varieties and know the remedies, extra damages, and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to which you or your victimized loved one is entitled.
If you or a loved one been the victim of elder abuse in Marin or Alameda County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. We can help guide your case through investigation, discovery, through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.