Victim Noticed Suspicious Credit Card Charges
Unauthorized Purchases Allegedly Included Vacations
Caregiver Charged With 30 Felonies
We cannot emphasize strongly enough the risks to seniors whenever a stranger or caregiver enters a senior’s home and can find access to valuables, money, checks, credits cards, or any confidential financial information. Seniors are at risk of financial elder abuse from many different directions but sadly one of the most recurring is abuse by dishonest caregivers working in a senior’s own home. Betrayal of an elder’s trust by a dishonest caregiver may occur almost immediately when the dishonest caregiver enters the senior’s home. Cash, credit cards, and checks are the most obvious targets of a would-be financial predator but any taking of any property from a senior, or assistance with that taking, constitutes financial elder abuse. Financial elder abuse is a crime and grounds for civil liability for the person taking the money and anyone assisting them. Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial abuse). 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.
If a senior or dependent person is a victim of financial elder abuse, Evans Law Firm. Inc. can represent the victim and his or her family, and pursue all persons responsible, including anyone assisting in the abuse. We will pursue all available remedies including an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing suit. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5. If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Caregiver Arrested For Theft
In an arrest reported last year, a former caregiver was arrested by authorities after a Sheriff’s investigation revealed she had allegedly stolen from a 95-year-old client. The caregiver is accused of more than 30 felonies for allegedly using the victim’s credit card for her own purchases. Charges ranged from criminal use of personal identification to theft from a person aged 65 or older. The Sheriff’s Department stated that the investigation started when the caregiver’s 95-year-old client noticed fraudulent charges. According to the affidavit of arrest, the suspect purchased more than $7,500 worth of goods and services, including two separate trips as well as numerous purchases for personal items for the caregiver and members of her family.
Keeping Older Loved Ones Safe
Always keep cash, credit cards and checks in a secure place far from the reach of any dishonest caregiver or other stranger working in a senior’s home. You may need to remove these items to your own home as caregivers often have ample time to snoop around a senior’s home or the senior may be deaf and unable to hear what they are doing in another room. Never allow access to financial or personal information like Social Security Numbers, PINs, or bank account information. Never give a caregiver (or anyone else for that matter) a blank check for anything. Monitor all of a senior’s credit cards and bank accounts online. Every day. Track where your loved one’s Social Security and pension benefits are being deposited. Every month. Have financial statements mailed to your address so others do not have access to you loved one’s business mail. Never, ever let a caregiver get involved in an older person’s financial affairs. Ever. Under no circumstances. A caregiver is there to provide health care and assistance with daily living activities, NOT finances. Never, ever grant a power of attorney or a blank check or a credit or debit card to a caregiver. Perhaps most important of all, if you suspect anything wrong, do something about it right away.
If you suspect financial elder abuse of a loved one, friend or neighbor in San Mateo County, or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at email@example.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.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.