Older Californians, especially those who have amassed a fortune of sorts throughout their lives, may be easy prey for financial abuse and fraud from an unlikely source—their own family members—in scams that are on the rise across the country, financial elder abuse attorneys in San Francisco report. Loans and gifts of money or prized, expensive possessions can be a touching gesture or source of help from an older relative, but when the older person is being forced to hand over hard-earned money without their consent, a form of financial elder abuse is taking place, and, even worse, the victim is being targeted and exploited by those closest to him or her.
Although it is not uncommon for family members to help each other out in times of need or financial distress, some people will happily take advantage of their relatives’ good will and generosity. A family member who is trying to scam an older relative may constantly ask for loans, or small sums of money to get him or her through a rough patch, or to tide him or her over until the next paycheck, or until a financial gamble or venture pays off. Inevitably, the money disappears, the loans are never paid back, and the older benefactor has lost finances that they may eventually come to need, or for which they had different plans.
A preying family member can use a variety of tactics and resources to gain access to an older relative’s funds—guilt, manipulation, bribery, threats, or outright thievery. Using family bonds or desperate stories and scenarios is a common trick to gain sympathy, and convince an older parent or grandparent to open up the checkbooks. In most cases, money is given in the form of a loan, and the older benefactor is then too afraid to ask for the funds back, but there is also the fear that he or she will be unable to pay bills, insurance or medical costs, etc., without it.
Ask for Help
If you have loaned money to your family members and never seen a repayment, or you are constantly being pestered to provide money for those close to you, you may be a victim of financial elder abuse. The first step to regaining your financial security, and to cutting off the abuser is to ask for help, elder abuse lawyers in San Francisco report, whether from a lawyer, a trusted financial advisor, or a hotline service. With some 50 million Americans in their 60s and older, the state, local, and federal governments are becoming more and more aggressive about their efforts to curb financial abuse.
To discuss your case, and determine the best course of action for getting your money back, and making the abusers pay restitution, contact a financial elder abuse attorney at the San Francisco-based Evans Law Firm, Inc. Our attorneys represent clients in the Bay area who have been manipulated or taken advantage of by their family members. Get in touch with Ingrid Evans at the Evans Law Firm at 415.4441.8669 or www.evanslaw.com.