Greedy Caregivers Strike Quickly
Seizing Accessible Cash And ATM Cards
Hiding Bank Statements To Cover Up Theft
Anytime a stranger enters the home of an elderly person, there is a risk of financial elder abuse. Caregivers especially have access to everything in an elder individual’s home and time to look around. If the caregiver is unscrupulous, cash, checks, ATM cards and credit cards are usually the first properties the caregiver will take. Our current economic downturn, and forced isolation of seniors, increase the risks to senior shut-ins. If no one is watching, a caregiver may think he or she can get away with theft, which usually starts out small bhut grows over time. Whenever, a senior is subject to this kind of theft and financial abuse, call the authorities but also call counsel. The Santa Clara County financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent injured seniors and their families in all the communities of Santa Clara County and throughout California. Our elder abuse litigators can be reach at (415)441-8669.
Caregivers Strike Quickly When They Steal
One recently reported case of caregiver theft shows just how quickly an unscrupulous caregiver may strike a vulnerable older person.  In the case, a caregiver was arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $35,000 from a 92-year-old woman she had been hired to care for, according to the local authorities. The money was allegedly sent to the caregiver’s family outside the United States and used to open up bank accounts and other financial accounts, authorities said. According to the Sheriff’s Department. money started disappearing almost immediately after the caregiver came to work for her 92-year-old victim. Grabbing the woman’s ATM card and personal ID number from her nightstand, officials allege, the caregiver withdrew $1,000 at a time and deposited the money into her own accounts. The caregiver is also accused of using the woman’s credit cards to buy things for herself over the phone. Money was transferred from the woman’s trust funds into the bank account to help hide the withdrawals, according to the authorities. Investigators are tallying the losses, but the stolen amount could be more than $100,000. When the caregiver called in sick one day last month, another worker took her place. When the mail arrived at her charge’s home, the replacement showed the client a bank statement. The regular caregiver had allegedly been hiding the woman’s bank statements from her to cover up the missing money.
What To Watch For
If you have a senior loved one living alone or with a caregiver or new life partner, you may want to make arrangements so that they important mail (like bank statements) come directly to you and are not accessible to being intercepted by a caregiver or other person. Make sure cash, checks, and ATM and credit cards are out of reach; also a senior’s Social Security number. If your older loved one has in-home assistance, always vet the individual (and their agency) before they ever come inside. If the caregiver is coming to you through an agency, check out the agency’s track record too. Agencies may do very little to vet their own aides, and that can be a real problem. Once a caregiver is in the home, keep valuables locked up and do not have cash, credit cards or confidential information near at hand. Call your loved on frequently and speak to them alone; tell them to take your call privately and out of earshot of the caregiver. The senior may be intimidated to speak candidly in front of someone they fear. Never ever let a senior give a caregiver a Power of Attorney.
In addition, watch out for:
- New bank accounts the senior and family member can’t access
- Changes in where Social Security and retirement checks are deposited
- Unpaid care or utility bills
- Sudden increase in ATM withdrawals or unfamiliar purchases or spending habits.
- New friends or “advisors” whom you have never heard of in your loved one’s life before.
- Credit cards maxed out, used without permission, unpaid or otherwise harming an older person’s credit score
- Coercing a senior to make gifts or advance loans
- Changes in trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney or other important legal documents
- Refusing to provide money for necessary or shared expenses like food, clothing, transportation, medical care or medicine
Ingrid M. Evans and our other elder abuse attorneys represent seniors throughout all the communities here in Santa Clara County and throughout California who are victims of any kind of elder abuse, including financial elder abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will pursue all remedies available to you or your injured senior loved one including getting stolen money back (restitution), undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created (rescissions), damages for pain and suffering, and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.