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Jun 22, 2021 by |

California and San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Theft Of Cash And Credit Cards From Seniors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Seniors Targeted For Theft Of Cash And Credit Cards 

Caregivers And Others With Access

Unauthorized Purchases And Theft Of Cash

Seniors are the most vulnerable segment of our population to risk of theft or financial exploitation.  Theft and abuse range from theft of relatively small amounts of cash or improper purchases on a credit card to intricate schemes that take away all of a senior’s savings and maybe even their home.  Seniors are doubly affected by these acts – the loss of the cash or property and the toll it takes on their wellbeing; studies reveal that seniors who are victims of abuse have a mortality rate three times that of seniors who are not subject to such trauma.  The pandemic has made the situation even more dangerous for seniors as their forced isolation (meant to protect them from the coronavirus) has left them even more susceptible to financial abuse. Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. has represented families of older loved ones where a caregiver or other person has attempted to take everything a dying senior owns. Ingrid always pursues all persons responsible for any form of elder abuse, including the caregiver or other person actually taking a senior’s property, anyone assisting them, and the owners of caregiver agencies or businesses employing the abuser if applicable.  Call us today at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267) at (if any senior loved one has suffered any kind of financial elder or dependent adult abuse here in San Francisco or elsewhere in California.

Recent Arrests for Financial Elder Abuse

Two recently reported cases reveal how quickly financial predators strike against defenseless seniors.[1], In one, police arrested a woman who targeted older shoppers, engaged them in conversation, and then stole their wallets from their purses while they were distracted, according to police. She allegedly made at least $5,000 in credit card charges in at least four separate incidents in a very short period of time, police said.  In the other case, police arrested a woman accused of stealing from a disabled, dependent adult for whom she acted as an in-home caregiver.  Police charged her with felony theft from a dependent adult and unlawful use of a credit card.  The investigation began in 2019 when a different caregiver for the victim called police to report suspicious activity on the victim’s credit card. When police contacted the victim, she told them there were multiple charges on her card that she did not authorize.  The police developed evidence that the caregiver in question had allegedly used the victim’s card to make various purchases for the benefit of herself and not the victim.  Police obtained a warrant for the caregiver’s arrest a year ago but officers had been unable to locate her.  In July 2020 they issued a public plea for information of her whereabouts and eventually found her.  

How to Protect Older Loved Ones From Abuse

Now that pandemic restrictions are easing, accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters.  You can be there to protect them from outright theft and the problems they may get into if they are sold an unsuitable investment or insurance product like an annuity.  If you need to hire in-home help for a senior loved one, always do a background check on anyone who enters their home.  If you are going through an agency, vet the assigned individuals yourself anyway as agencies do not always vet their staff thoroughly.  Check out the agency’s record too on the California Department of Social Services website.  Always ask for recommendations and check them!  If your loved one already lives at home under the care of an in-home caregiver, be especially vigilant about their wellbeing and financial affairs. 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’s 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 San Francisco elder and dependent adults who are victims of any kind of financial exploitation or other abuse.  Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267), or email us at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in either of these reported cases in any way.

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