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Elder Financial Exploitation: Types and Examples

Financial exploitation of elders, a form of financial elder abuse, can have devastating long-term consequences for its victims. From loss of income to inability to pay for medications to isolation from friends and family, financial elder abuse often results in significantly diminished life outcomes. However, financial elder abuse takes many forms, some of which are easier to spot than others. Below are some of the most common types. If you suspect that someone you care about is currently being financially victimized, you should consider speaking to a California financial elder abuse attorney


Theft is perhaps the simplest form of financial elder abuse, as it is generally an unsophisticated method of exploitation and can be committed by anyone — even family members. It occurs when the perpetrator takes things from the victim that do not belong to them. For example, it could occur when a nursing home employee pockets a wad of cash he finds in a resident’s room.

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when the perpetrator uses someone else’s personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, credit card number, Social Security number, etc.) to open lines of credit in their name or to otherwise commit fraud. It could occur, for example, when a family member who knows an elder’s Social Security number uses that number to obtain a loan.


Forgery occurs when the perpetrator signs the name of another person without the authority to do so, falsely requests a legal or financial document by impersonation, or creates fake legal or financial documents. An example of forgery could involve a caregiver who takes a check from an elderly person’s check register and writes it to themselves. A California financial elder abuse lawyer can help you determine whether suspected forgery is legally actionable.

Fraud and Scams

Fraud and scams generally occur where the perpetrator makes materially false representations that induce the victim to act in a way that they would not have acted absent the misrepresentation. There is a stunningly wide range of fraud, including annuity fraud, banking fraud, consumer fraud, real estate fraud, and securities fraud. One of the most common frauds is multi-level marketing schemes, which require enormous initial outlays of cash that the victims rarely recoup through sales.

Internet-Based Exploitation

Internet-based financial elder abuse has proliferated widely in recent years due to the ubiquity of the internet paired with the tendency of seniors to be unfamiliar with the finer details of how the online economy works. It encompasses a wide range of fraud, including phishing schemes, catfishing, and tech support scams, among many others. For example, it occurs when a scammer spoofs an email from the victim’s bank asking for the username and password to their bank account.

Recover From Elder Financial Exploitation With the Assistance of a San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney

Concerned friends and family members are the first line of defense in protecting the elderly from financial exploitation. If you suspect that someone you care about is the victim of abuse, please contact a San Francisco financial elder abuse lawyer at the Evans Law Firm, Inc., by using our online contact form or calling 415-441-8669 or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

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