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Apr 14, 2023 by |

Marin Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: Signs Of Financial Exploitation Of Seniors


How Seniors Are Financially Exploited

Signs Of Financial Abuse

Noticing Social, Physical And Behavioral Clues

As we age, we may grow dependent on the help of others.  The process may be gradual or sudden (as after a stroke or accident).  Either way, increased dependence on others open up the potential for financial exploitation. Dishonest caregivers will take advantage of any impairment they perceive in the patients they’re paid to care for.  One primary impairment as patients age is their memory; while seniors may continue to write their own checks and pay their own bills, they may be forgetful of what has already been paid.  A dishonest caregiver or workman may use this forgetfulness to present more than one bill or invoice for the same services and get double pay.  This is clearly a wrongful taking and any wrongful taking of a senior’s property, or any assistance in that taking, is a crime and grounds for civil liability of the person doing the taking and anyone assisting him or her. California Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). If you or an older loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Marin or elsewhere in California, call us at (415)441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Signs Of Financial Exploitation And Cognitive Decline

Below are some signa of financial exploitation and cognitive decline that fall into some observed social, physical and behavioral patterns:


  • Informs you they have a new, particularly close friend or “sweetheart” and/or they move away from existing relationships towards new associates
  • Isolated either deliberately by family or a caregiver, or as a result of life changes
  • Accompanied by a caregiver or family member who will not allow the person to speak without them being present
  • Appears/sounds like they are being “coached” by another individual
  • Has an overly trusting personality or a temperament susceptible to manipulation
  • Over reliance on a third party


  • Has an onset or worsening illness or disability
  • Confusion over simple concepts; disorientation (i.e., confused about times, dates, or places)
  • Diminished hearing or vision
  • Dependent on another to provide care
  • Indicates that items are missing from their home
  • Demonstrates a lack of responsiveness or inability to follow through with a decision
  • Repeatedly calls seeking the same information
  • Requests frequent password/ username resets


  • Inability to make decisions
  • Fearful, distressed, or submissive
  • Distrusting or withdrawn
  • Forgetful or has frequent memory lapses
  • Displays poor judgement or paranoia
  • Change in appearance or personal hygiene
  • Disorganized and disorientated
  • Changes in normal routine
  • Expression of grief, depression, or mood swings
  • Alcohol or substance abuse

Other Signs of Financial Abuse/Exploitation

  • Family members or others financially dependent on the elder or seem to be taking excessive interest in their finances
  • Unexplained drop in account balances, increase in withdrawals or sudden wire transfers, or other changes in financial situation (i.e., statements that a loved one won a lottery, or has a new love interest)
  • Abruptly changes their will, trust, powers of attorney, or beneficiaries on their accounts
  • Inquiry or confusion about “missing” funds
  • Unpaid bills or bills being paid twice
  • Debit card usage tied to their account with purchases that are inconsistent with their lifestyle, and online purchases from someone who doesn’t shop that way
  • Unable to remember transactions or signing documents
  • Account withdrawals that are unexplained or not typical in amount or frequency
  • Inability to contact your loved one
  • Signs of intimidation or reluctance to speak, especially in the presence of a care giver or certain family members
  • Isolation from friends and family or being denied access to their own accounts
  • Someone writing or cashing checks without authorization, or forging signatures
  • Improper actions by fiduciaries (POA, trustee, guardian, etc.) moving or using funds in a way that are not for the benefit of the elder.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans can represent you or an older loved one who has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Marin or elsewhere in California.  If you need help, call us today at 415-441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).or by email at <a href=””></a>.

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