Seniors have increasingly become a target of many crimes. As elders get older, their ability to make smart financial decisions become tougher. As a result, elders will often fall prey to financial elder abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, financial elder abuse is the illegal and improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets. Roughly $2.9 billion are stolen from the elder population per year.
It is natural for older Americans to have a harder time making financial decisions since their cognitive abilities continue to decline as they age. However, seniors that suffer from dementia, vision loss, or other age-related diseases, make them twice as vulnerable to be taken advantage of financially.
Examples of common financial elder abuse include investment fraud, healthcare fraud, and fraudulent phone calls such as claims that the elder’s family member is in trouble, and would need the elder to wire a sum of money immediately. To make matters worse, financial elder abuse is often committed by loved ones, family members, and friends.
Aging along with the deterioration of cognitive abilities is inevitable. However, preventing financial elder abuse is. Therefore, elders should become aware of the common signs of financial elder abuse:
• When a caregiver expresses excessive interest in the financials of the elder
• Being asked to sign legal documents (such as power of attorney) which the elder does not understand, or has difficulty reading
• Unexplained bank withdrawals
• Frequent transfers made between accounts
• Forging the elder’s signature
• Fraudulent phone calls that require the elderly to pay money over the phone
Evans Law Firm, Inc. is dedicated to protecting seniors from elder abuse. If you suspect you or someone you know is a victim of financial elder abuse, contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. for a free and confidential consultation at (415) 441-8669 or firstname.lastname@example.org.