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Feb 8, 2022 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: How To Spot And Do Something About Financial Exploitation of The Elderly

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Typical Victim Profiles

Typical Financial Predator Profiles

Recourse For Victims And Their Families

Our health care system allows many people to live well into their 80’s and 90’s in the modern age.  But this same longevity can cause those living longer to rely on others for help in managing their physical needs as well as their financial matters. With this dependency comes the risk that caregivers or others will exploit the aging individual to their own advantage. Financial elder abuse is a crime and a basis for civil liability for anyone who wrongfully takes a senior’s property.  Penal Code §368 (crime of elder abuse) and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §15610.30(definition of financial elder abuse for civil liability).  Below, we share some insights from elder studies that suggest some typical characteristics of victims and their financial abusers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco or throughout California, call us today at (415)441-8669.  We will pursue all persons responsible for a senior’s injury. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Typical Profile Of Financial Elder Abuse Victims

Research suggests that the following characteristics appear regularly among victims of financial elder abuse:

  • Needing assistance with the activities of daily life, such as bill-paying, transportation, house-cleaning, personal hygiene, meal preparation, and shopping.
  • Living alone, and being isolated from community activities and health care services.
  • Having few family or friends who are able and willing to visit and engage in social interaction.
  • Experiencing grief over the loss of a spouse or partner of many years..
  • Suffering from depression caused at least in part by their isolation or loss.
  • Being naturally naïve, overly trusting, and open with strangers.

Typical Profile Of Predators

Individuals who financially exploit a dependent older person tend to fall into one of two groups: opportunists or predators.

Opportunists typically begin their relationship with the older person in an appropriate and trusting manner. Over time, however, whether due to resentment or greed, opportunists come to believe that they are entitled to take the older person’s assets. In many cases these persons have been entrusted with the victim’s assets as an agent under a durable power of attorney, as trustee under a lifetime trust, or as co-owner of bank accounts, and end up using that access to transfer the assets to themselves.

Predators are those who intentionally seek out older persons of apparent wealth to victimize. Predators tend to find their victims by frequenting places that are known to cater to older people, such as senior centers, nursing homes, and even support groups for the bereaved. Predators may purposely obtain jobs in private homes, hospitals, or pharmacies to seek out potential victims.

Protecting Older Loved Ones

Whether an older person is victimized by an “opportunist” or a “predator,” the injury is the same, In order to prevent any kind of exploitation of an older or dependent loved one, stay involved in their life.  Monitor all their bank accounts frequently and keep all credit cards, ATMs and financial information (including Social Security Numbers) away from the reach of any caregiver. If a caregiver seems to be getting to intimate or friendly, get rid of them and hire someone new.  Keep an eye on all of your older loved ones’ accounts. Change the mailing address for bank statements so that they come to you instead of the older person’s home where strangers can see account numbers. Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver.  Most important of all, if you suspect any financial elder abuse of a loved one or friend, do something about it immediately.  Contact elder counsel who can help you get justice for any injured senior.

Contact Us

If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at info@evanslaw.com. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).  Ingrid pursues all available remedies for families and injured seniors against those responsible, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the victim or his or her family. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.

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