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Jun 8, 2024 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: Staggering New Statistics On Financial Elder Abuse


U.S. Treasury Department Unit Releases Report

$27 Billion In Elder Financial Suspicious Activities

Protecting Older Loved Ones

Recent statistics, released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and discussed below, indicate that the financial toll of financial elder abuse is possibly as much as $27 billion annually. All seniors are at risk of being financially exploited but isolated seniors tend to be at the greatest risk of financial abuse at the hands of dishonest in-home caregivers, stepchildren, second spouses, “friends” and others.  The methods for financially exploiting seniors vary from straight theft of cash or checks, forgeries, and unauthorized bank account transfers.  The most reliable way to protect your older loved ones from any form of exploitation is to keep your older loved ones active and in community rather than isolated and to keep their financial, business and money well away from potential abusers. Never ever allow a senior loved one to give a caregiver a Power of Attorney or create a joint account with a caregiver or other stranger, stepchild or newfound “friend.”    Routinely monitor a senior’s bank accounts, check that the title of the accounts has not changed, and check where their Social Security or other benefit money is being deposited.  California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder abuse:

(a) “Financial abuse” of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:

(1) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.

(2) Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.

(3) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined in Section 15610.70.

Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Francisco, 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).

New Statistics On Size Of Financial Elder Abuse Problem

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Financial Trend Analysis recently focusing on patterns and trends in the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets. FinCEN identified for a one-year period (June 2022-June 2023) 155,415 filings of elder financial abuse complaints and incidents indicating roughly $27 billion in financial elder abuse-related suspicious activity. “FinCEN has long recognized the threat that Elder Financial Exploitation poses and the need to protect the older adult population from financial abuse,” said FinCEN Director Andrea Gacki. “FinCEN’s analysis highlights the critical role of financial institutions in helping to identify, prevent, and report suspected Elder Financial Exploitation.”  According to the report, elder financial abuse-related losses affect personal savings, checking accounts, retirement savings, and investments, and can severely impact victims’ well-being and financial security as they age. 

Protecting Older Loved Ones

Access to bank accounts, surreptitiously or by creating “joint” accounts, is a very common method of financial elder abuse.  By closely monitoring bank activity and having a system for alerts on all accounts family members of an older person should be able to catch suspicious activity.  Additionally, do not have cash accessible to any caregiver as there is no way you can police that remotely and if it’s gone, it’s gone. Unscrupulous caregivers of a senior may also cajole a senior into opening new or joint bank accounts that you will not know about.  Make it a hard and fast rule that your older loved one not making any bank or business trips without you present.  Monitor credit cards and bank accounts online as frequently as possible.  Have financial statements and important papers mailed to your own address so others do not have access to you loved one’s business mail.  Never, ever grant a power of attorney to a caregiver or nursing home staff member or allow your loved one to open a joint account with someone else.  Accompany older loved ones whenever they go shopping or go to the bank or have any sort of meeting about financial matters. 

Contact Us

If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in San Francisco, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at 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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