Older California residents can sometimes fall victim to elder financial abuse. Sadly, this type of fraud is often perpetrated by someone known by and close to the victim.
What is elder financial abuse?
Elder financial abuse is a crime that occurs when someone takes advantage of an older person or fools them so that they can gain their money.
Who commits elder financial abuse?
Elder financial abuse can be committed by anyone. Sometimes, it’s done by strangers online, through regular mail, over the phone, or in person. However, it is often carried out by someone known to the victim. This might include friends, neighbors, acquaintances, home health aides or even family members.
It is very common for family members of the victim to commit elder financial abuse. However, many times when this happens, the person perpetrating it either doesn’t realize they are committing a crime or doesn’t acknowledge that they’re committing one. Whether that’s due to denial or being oblivious, it doesn’t matter.
When elder financial abuse occurs because of a close family member, it often involves a child or grandchild requesting money from the older person. They might convince them to give them money repeatedly for a variety of reasons until it eventually drains their older relative’s bank account. Or the family member might ask for the person’s debit or credit card and deduct money from their account or rack up various charges.
Sometimes, the family member dupes the older person by convincing them that they are helping them pay their bills. However, the family member might end up using a debit card to deduct funds to pocket and hide that from the older person.
Elder financial abuse can cost people their life savings. If your loved one has been victimized, fight back to protect their rights.