San Mateo County Caregiver Fraud
Caregiver fraud occurs when a Caregiver takes advantage of or targets senior citizens, the infirm, and physically or mentally disabled. An individual who provides care for another person who is not capable of taking care of him or herself is a caregiver. Caregivers assist the patient or dependent with activities in daily life. San Mateo County caregiver fraud occurs in San Mateo.
Caregiver fraud can take many forms: physical harm or suffering, endangering of health or body, theft, embezzlement, forgery, fraud, and identity theft, among other misconducts. A paid or unpaid caregiver can commit caregiver fraud. San Mateo County caregiver fraud is perpetrated by both licensed caregivers and individuals who deceptively claim to be caretakers. Recent instances of caregiver fraud in San Mateo County and across the nation have ranged from theft of personal property of senior citizens to posing as medical practitioners and charging exorbitant fees for services never provided.
Recent emphasis on caregiver fraud in the media has led to a greater awareness of the problem. This awareness can help to deter and prevent caregiver fraud.
Those At Risk of Caregiver Fraud in San Mateo County?
Senior citizens, the infirm, and physically or mentally disabled members of the population in San Mateo County make up the majority of those who are consumers of caregiving services. Victims of caregiver fraud tend to be those who are frail and need the personal care services the most. Unethical caregivers knowingly take advantage of weaknesses infiltrate the life of the elder and steal from the elder for their own financial gain.
Abuse of trust and vulnerability of the elder or dependent are components associated with caregiver fraud. Because of the intimate nature of providing personal care, the caregiver usually gains or can gain access to much of the elder’s personal and financial information. Once the relationship has started, the caregiver can gain virtually unlimited access to the senior’s personal and financial accounts and records. Allowing unlimited access to personal information puts an senior citizens at risk of caregiver fraud in San Mateo County.
Different Kinds of Financial Caregiver Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Financial Theft, Forgery and Embezzlement
- Property Theft
Signs and Symptoms of Financial Caregiver Fraud in San Mateo County
The following behaviors could be indicators of caregiver fraud.
- Aiming to isolate the elder or preventing the elder from speaking to people
- Hiding mail and other documents from the elder and elder’s family
- Unusual interest in the senior’s will, real estate, investments, or other financial accounts
- Removing money from bank accounts on the senior’s behalf
- Looking for “power of attorney” privileges
- Providing financial advice to the elder
- Put forward proposals about medical or other insurance purchases on behalf of the elder
Preventing caregiver fraud in San Mateo County
It is an important an serious decision to rust an individual that you do not know well with personal belongings, accounts, and information. Be sure to request extensive references and conduct background checks before hiring a caregiver.
Keep personal and financial documents locked up in a guarded place. If you are concerned that the home may not be completely secure, use a bank safety deposit box.
Make sure that you are aware of the activities of the caregiver, and how they interact with the senior citizen. Ensure that other trusted family members stay active in the senior’s life and check in with the caregiver from time to time.
What to do if You Suspect that A Loved One Could Be A Victim of Caregiver Fraud
If you suspect caregiver fraud, notify the police. Seniors and other victims are reluctant to report caregiver fraud because of shame, doubt, or other considerations. This reluctance to reveal potential fraud allows the caregiver to continue to hurt their victim.
Call your local police nonemergency line to report any thefts of money, property, or goods. Request that an officer be sent out to take a report in person.
Consult with local senior legal assistance programs. The prospect of legal action can be stressful, but there are professionals who specialize in assisting seniors who have been harmed. Reporting these instances of fraud against the elderly is the most effective way of preventing future harm.