Financial abuse of a person over the age of 65 is a crime in California.
According to California State Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 15610.30, financial abuse is "a situation in which a person, including but not limited to, one who has care or custody of or who stands in a position of trust, of an elder or dependent adult, takes, secretes, or appropriates their money or property, to any wrongful use, or with the intent to defraud."
What is elder financial abuse?
Elder financial abuse, or the financial exploitation of the elderly, occurs when a person takes or uses the money or property of an elder for any wrongful use, or with the intent to defraud the elder. Elder financial abuse can occur whether the elder is a resident in a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, or is living in a private residence.
Who commits elder financial abuse?
Family Members and Care Providers in Close Daily Contact
Unfortunately, the people most likely to commit elder financial abuse usually are the people closest to their elderly victim — family members and care providers who are in regular or daily personal contact with the elder.
An Estranged Family Member
Sometimes, elder financial abuse is committed by family members who have not been close to the elder in the past, but suddenly appear and claim an interest in his or her health and welfare, as well as his or her money and property.
Unscrupulous Telemarketers, Contractors or Long-Term Facility Caregivers
Outside of the family, elder financial abuse is often committed by unscrupulous telemarketers, contractors, and others who convince the victim to give them personal and financial information which can be used to steal money and property from the elder. These same dishonest people may try to sell goods or services to the elder, with no intention of providing the services or delivering the goods.
Finally, elders who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, may be victims of financial abuse by their direct caregivers or even by the administrators of the nursing homes.
Examples and Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
Examples and signs of elder financial abuse include:
- Cashing checks without permission of the elder
- Preventing the elder from having access to his/her money and bank accounts
- Forging the elder’s signature on checks and other documents
- Adding an additional name to the elder’s bank account and withdrawing funds without permission of the elder
- Theft of money or property
- Theft of ATM cards or credit cards
- Deceiving or forcing an elder to sign a financial document, such as a will, a loan application, or some other document
- Improperly using an elder’s power of attorney or conservatorship
- Selling an elder unnecessary or overpriced goods or services
- Stealing an elder’s identity or financial data in order to steal the elder’s money or property
- Deceiving an elder to invest in an overpriced scam
- Deceiving an elder into borrowing money on a home with terms that guarantee he or she will default and lose equity
Contact an Experienced Elder Abuse Attorney
The best way to stop elder financial abuse is to make sure that the abusers are punished as criminals and stripped of all money or property they obtained by abusing and defrauding elders. If you believe that you or a loved one are the victims of elder financial abuse, our experienced elder abuse lawyers can help you investigate your claim and take legal action to protect your financial interests and recover any money or property that has been illegally taken from you.
Please fill out and submit the contact form on this page for a free and confidential case evaluation or call us toll-free at (888) 285-3333.