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Feb 14, 2014 by |

Senior Citizens Scammed in Financial Elder Abuse Cases


Financial scams that target the elderly have long been a concern for officials in Sonoma County.  Four recent financial elder abuse cases in Petaluma have police on the alert.  Four recent cases in Petaluma have cost the senior citizen victims more than $219,000.  Police say that they get reports about different types of scams every month and about half of them target senior citizens.  Sonoma County financial elder abuse attorneys remind the public to remain watchful for crimes against senior citizens.

According to Petaluma police, the most recent scam is called the “grandparent” scam.  A Petaluma senior citizen was contacted by a man who claimed to be her grandson.  The man told her that he was in Mexico and that he had been involved in a car accident with a diplomat.  He told her that he needed money to pay for the repairs.  She wired a total of $5,000 to help her grandson.  It wasn’t until the money was gone that she discovered that her grandson was not in Mexico.  Sonoma County financial elder abuse attorneys warn seniors to be careful about wiring money.

A similar scam was reported to police earlier last month.  A senior citizen was called by a man claiming to be her grandson.  He told the senior that he was in Mexico and had been arrested.  Then he told her that he needed $15,000 for bail money.  The senior wired the money to an address in Mexico.  She found out afterwards that her grandson was not in Mexico.  She called the police and reported the crime.

In January, another Petaluma senior citizen fell victim to a scam.  This scam is called the “lottery” scam.  The 95 year-old senior was contacted by an unknown person and told that he was the winner of an out of state lottery.  In order to collect the money, he was told that he needed to pre pay the taxes on the winnings.  The senior victim sent out more than $124,000 in several transactions.  The lottery scam has been reported by seniors around the country.  Sonoma County financial elder abuse attorneys say that they have known about the lottery scam for some time.

According to authorities, there are many scams that target senior citizens.  Some scams deal with Social security, Medicare, or the Affordable care Act.  Many times, a person will call and claim that they need to verify the personal information of the senior in order for them to continue to receive the benefits.  Police warn senior citizens not to give out their personal information over the phone to people who call.  Petaluma police will hold a series of workshops in March and April at the Petaluma Senior Center to educate the public on issues related to scams and financial fraud.  You can call the California Attorney General’s Office, Adult Protective services, the Better Business Bureau, or the local police department to report suspicious phone calls or other correspondence.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse, financial elder abuse, physical elder abuse, annuity fraud, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud cases.  If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse, or financial fraud then contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email us at

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