Unlicensed Caregiver Purported To Be “Friend” Of Seniors
Used Senior’s Credit Cards To Run Errands
Guardian Reported Suspicious Charges To Police
Isolated seniors are the most vulnerable to financial abuse because they have no one to watch over their accounts and help them keep track of their money. Sometimes old “friends” or acquaintances of the isolated senior unexpectedly enter or re-enter their lives as the senior loses his or her independence and needs assistance. The assistance may be to run errands for the senior, do shopping, take them to the bank or to doctors’ appointments, pick up prescriptions for them and the like. If this “friend” or new acquaintance has ulterior motives the results can be disastrous – from theft of cash to unauthorized card charges to more elaborate schemes. All forms of financial abuse from the one-off theft of cash to elaborate schemes to take everything a senior has are crimes and grounds for civil liability of the abuser, and anyone assisting him or her, and perhaps even those responsible for supervising the abuser. California Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder or dependent adult 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 you or a loved one is a victim of elder or dependent adult abuse or neglect in Santa Clara 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 Multiple Unauthorized Credit Card Charges
In a recently reported arrest, police arrested and charged a caregiver with st4aling over $15,000 from a 72-year-old woman by making repeated unauthorized charges on the elderly woman’s credit cards. According to reports, in December 2022 the guardian of a 72-year-old reported to Police there was suspicious activity on the victim’s bank and credit card statements. The guardian reported that [the suspect] had been friends with the victim since early 2020 and was at the victim’s residence almost daily. According to the reports, the suspect would be trusted to do grocery shopping for the victim and run errands. Through police investigation, it was discovered that beginning in mid-2020 the suspect would use the victim’s card to purchase items for both the victim and herself in a separate transaction.
It is alleged that while the suspect was in possession of the victim’s card, (she) would use it to make other personal purchases for herself at numerous locations and, on some days, numerous transactions in a single day. Video surveillance was obtained for many of the transactions where the suspect was seen using the victim’s card to purchase items for herself. This included on multiple occasions purchasing lottery tickets, police said. According to police, the suspect is accused of purchasing over $15,500 of items for herself using the victim’s card.
Protecting Older Loved Ones
Be wary if an old friend or new acquaintance of your older loved ones suddenly takes an intense interest in their welfare and are at their home all the time. Never allow such a friend or acquaintance or neighbor or a caregiver have any role in an older person’s financial affairs. Never, ever give a caregiver or new friend or acquaintance of a senior a Power of Attorney, credit card, or a blank check. Always monitor a senior loved one’s checking and credit card accounts; take a look at all accounts online every day if you can.
If you sense any kind of abuse of an older loved one, call us right away. Ingrid M. Evans has years of experience in representing seniors and their families against abusers of any kind, including in-home caregivers. You can reach us at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.