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May 6, 2015 by |

San Mateo County Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys Say Bank Employees Can Play Significant Role in Preventing Financial Elder Abuse


San Mateo County financial elder abuse attorneys say that bank employees can play a significant role in preventing financial elder abuse. Bank workers can often be the first, and possibly only, people in an elderly person’s life who is in a position to detect financial exploitation.

Financial exploitation is a common form of elder abuse. Bank employees can have a critical role in identifying abnormal behavior or account activity. Changes in appearance and behavior of a customer can be red flags. If a bank teller notices signs of dementia in a customer, they may be able to talk to the customer, offer information about assistive programs, or contact Adult Protective Services. In extreme cases, say San Mateo County financial elder abuse attorneys, it may be necessary for a bank employee to contact the police.

Although confidentiality laws prevent banks and credit unions from revealing information about a customer’s account, in the case of suspected financial abuse, banks are able to provide enough information to Adult Protective Services for them to take action.

Tellers say that they have seen a number of schemes intended to exploit the elderly. These include:
-Craigslist scam: Someone provides a check for an item sold on Craigslist. The scammer provides a check in excess of the amount agreed upon and asks the seller to repay the difference. However, the check is fake and when it fails to clear, the seller is responsible for both the fake bounced check as well as the “overpayment” they have already returned.
-Walmart scam: A consumer may get a notice saying that they have been chosen to be a secret shopper at Walmart, or another store, and is sent a realistic-looking check to complete the shopping assignment. The check turns out to be fake, and the consumer is on the hook when it bounces.
-Stamp licker scam: Scammers advertise for help stamping and stuffing envelopes, and send a fake check for the work.
-Expensive and unwanted services: Someone may offer to help an elderly person with yardwork or other home maintenance, without giving the elderly person a chance to agree. After doing the work, they then demand an exorbitant amount of money. San Mateo County financial elder abuse lawyers advise that if this happens to you, you should immediately stop payment on the check and contact authorities.
-Antivirus scam: Scammers may contact someone and tell them that they must pay to have nonexistent viruses removed from their computer. Sometimes, there is an actual virus installed that takes the person’s confidential information.
-Prize scams: Fraudulent sweepstakes may make you pay a fee, buy something, or pay shipping charges or other fees to enter or improve your chances of winning.

Financial elder abuse attorneys in San Mateo County say that bank tellers’ ability to recognize and respond to red flags can be key in stopping financial elder abuse. As some training programs are implemented across the country, financial elder abuse attorneys recommend that banks and credit unions have their employees undergo training to recognize and prevent signs of financial exploitation.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles all types of elder abuse cases, including financial elder abuse lawsuits. If you or a loved one have been a victim of financial elder abuse, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at

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