Within the United States, seniors aged 65 and older control approximately $18 trillion in wealth, according to Barrons. Unfortunately, managing all of this money can sometimes become challenging for older people, especially if they begin to experience dementia or other age-related cognitive and physical decline. While seniors should be able to count on their loved ones and caregivers to help them protect the nest eggs they have worked so hard for, sadly, this is not what is occurring.
Instead of seniors being respected for their lifetime of effort and having their financial security protected, far too many fall victim to fraud, theft and other financial crimes. In fact, the problem of financial elder abuse is such a big issue that Barrons indicates it is being called the “silent epidemic.”
Evans Law Firm, Inc. has dedicated itself to fighting this epidemic for more than 15 years, helping clients who have been defrauded to take legal action against those who have caused them losses. Our legal team fights caregiver fraud, financial advisor fraud, insurance fraud, identity theft and more. We have handled many cases involving seniors defrauded due to memory loss issues, bad financial advice, exploitation, power of attorney fraud and more. When a California elder abuse attorney is needed to identify and prove wrongdoing to help seniors recover after being victimized by fraud, our firm can provide the advocacy you need.
The Epidemic of Financial Elder Abuse
According to Barrons, as many as one out of five seniors in America has been financially exploited. This includes seniors scammed by strangers. However, scams operated by strangers are actually in the minority.
Most cases of financial elder abuse are perpetrated by caregivers, family members or friends. These caregivers often use misuse money that should rightfully belong to the senior, such as when two adult children spent more than $700,000 of their parent’s money after their parents developed dementia. This story is illustrative of a broader problem: around 71 percent of cases of financial elder abuse are perpetrated by children. These children may abuse the authority given to them under power of attorney, or may simply take money from their parent’s bank accounts or from an estate after death.
Of course, not every case of financial abuse is perpetrated by children. Common scams aimed at separating seniors from their money include phone scams where people pretend to be IRS agents or from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some phone scams also involve pretending to be a grandchild to get a grandparent to send money.
Non-family caregivers and nursing home staff members can also coerce seniors into giving up money or valuable property, while financial advisors could give bad advice designed to enrich themselves at the expense of seniors. There is almost no end to the number of ways members of the vulnerable older population could be taken advantage of, especially as people are living longer now and are more likely to develop memory and cognitive issues in their late 80s and early 90s.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess the full scope of the financial elder abuse problem because so few cases end up being reported. Only around two percent of cases are reported by the victims, and experts believe as few as 1 in 44 cases of financial elder abuse are ever reported.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. is committed to bringing this problem to the forefront. We have testimonials from numerous satisfied clients who were able to turn to our firm for help so we could alert appropriate authorities and take action to recover lost funds.
Talking with a financial elder abuse lawyer in California can make it possible not only for you to get your own money back, but also to stop abusers from victimizing others. Give us a call at 415-441-8669 today or contact us online so we can work with you to fight the silent epidemic of financial elder abuse.