Isolated Woman Falls Prey To Financial Abuse
False Pretenses, Impersonations And Deceit Led To $4.85 Million Loss
Federal Prosecution Awaits Defendant
Elder advocates estimate that around five million seniors are financially exploited each year financially, with anywhere from $2.9-36.5 billion in personal financial losses annually. These astonishing figures are rapidly rising during the COVID-19 pandemic as forced isolation of seniors here in San Mateo County and throughout the State makes them even more vulnerable to financial exploitation by strangers, caregivers, insurance salesmen, financial advisors and others. Elder financial abuse ranges from outright theft to more subtle manipulation and undue influence over a senior to make gifts, grant Powers of Attorney or change estate plans for the benefit of a caregiver, second spouse, or new “friend.” Whatever the circumstances, and whoever the abuser, the San Mateo County elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their loved ones who suffer any form of elder financial abuse. If you need help, call us today at (415)441-8669.
Preying On Isolated Seniors
Sadly, the news is filled more and more with accounts of sustained and largescale financial abuse of seniors. In one recently reported case, federal prosecutors have indicted a woman accused of swindling more than $4.85 million out of an elderly woman living alone. According to the indictment, defendant enlisted a variety of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises in a scheme to defraud her elderly victim. Among the various misrepresentations defendant allegedly made in order to obtain money from the victim were that she had been in a coma; that she had had brain surgery; that she had been falsely arrested and imprisoned; that her son had died in a car accident; that she had had a kidney transplant; that her daughter was institutionalized; that she was in jail; and, that her grandmother had died. The defendant had allegedly impersonated a number of different people in her communications with the victim. Over the course of her scheme, defendant had obtained more than $4.85 million from her victim according to the indictment. Defendant is awaiting trial in federal court.
How To Safeguard Seniors From Financial Elder Abuse
Pandemic safety restrictions continue here in San Mateo County making personal visits with seniors largely off limits. Despite those limitations, you can take other steps from a distance to help ward off financial predators from an isolated senior loved one. For one thing, check all bank statements online or through the mail as often as possible to detect any suspicious activity. Speak frequently to your older loved one over the phone or, better yet, by Zoom or Facetime if possible, and find out directly how they are doing and whose been in touch with them. Predators may call or email them or even show up at their door; these predators will not be abiding by safety protocols you can be sure. Thoroughly vet anyone coming into the home for senior care and never grant a caregiver a Power of Attorney. Keep valuables, cash, financial information and records, ATM cards and credit cards out of reach. If you suspect any financial abuse at all, call elder counsel right away.
Ingrid M. Evans and the other San Mateo County elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their families against any persons or businesses responsible for the abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ingrid and her team of other elder abuse attorneys will pursue all available remedies for injured seniors, including getting money back (restitution), undoing any invalid contracts they may have been induced to enter (rescission), and getting an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing their case.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in the case in any way.