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Posts Tagged ‘financial abuse’

Three California Bills Would Strengthen Elder Abuse Prevention Law

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and two local state senators urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign three bills aimed at helping to prevent elder abuse, including financial elder abuse. “The changes to the law included in these bills will make a real difference as our Elder Abuse Unit works to hold defendants accountable when they abuse senior citizens in our community,” Dumanis said. She was joined by Sens. Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad) and Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), in encouraging the governor to sign the legislation. SB 543, which is sponsored by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, would…

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Regulators tell banks that reporting elder abuse doesn’t violate privacy laws

In a move intended to help elderly victims of financial exploitation, federal regulators today told banks and money managers that they can report suspected financial abuse to authorities without fear of violating privacy laws. Financial abuse of the elderly is an epidemic, according to the recent Government Accountability Office, draining $2.9 billion from seniors’ accounts in 2010 alone. Bank and credit union tellers "may be able to spot irregular transactions, abnormal account activity, or unusual behavior that signals financial abuse sooner than anyone else can," said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But banks and money advisors…

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Theft or diversion of funds by family members as the most common form of financial abuse.

A new poll examining financial exploitation of American seniors finds that 79 percent of experts surveyed identified theft or diversion of funds by family members as the most common form of financial abuse. The poll asked state securities regulators, financial planners, health care professionals, social workers, adult protective services workers, law enforcement officials, elder law attorneys, and academics about their experiences with elder abuse. Seventy-seven percent of individuals surveyed thought that seniors are very vulnerable to financial abuse, and most cited financial abuse by family members as the most common form of financial abuse. Most respondents indicated that older veterans…

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Doctors may play a critical in their patient’s finances, as well as their health.

As a Market Watch story explains, a program that involves training doctors has proven successful in minimizing senior financial abuse. The Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation program was launched in 2009. It involves the training of thousands of doctors to ask general, but helpful questions when their senior patients visited for appointments. Considering the frequency with which seniors have medical appointments, it is natural place for basic inquiries about their financial situation to be tested. As part of the program the doctors ask questions like: -Have you given power of attorney to another person? -Has someone asked you to…

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U.S. targets financial abuse of elderly

Americans over 60 lost at least $2.9 billion in 2010 to financial exploitation, a MetLife study. This 12% rise over two years is leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to begin looking into the types of scams affecting older consumers, states the LA Times. Federal regulators launched an investigation into the financial abuse of the elderly, citing a new report that advisors, planners, family members and others were ripping off seniors more than ever. The rise in abusive tactics led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to begin looking into the types of scams affecting older Americans and coming up with…

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Financial Scams on the Elderly

A federally funded National Institute of Justice study found that about ten percent of Americans over sixty had been targeted for some form of financial exploitation. Also, a Met-Life study last year estimated the annual loss from this financial abuse was nearly $3 billion. Scammers target everyone, but seniors often make the ideal target because some have disabilities, may be less knowledgeable about the Internet or tech issues, and often live more isolated lives. To top it off, after a lifetime of building and working, many seniors can be counted on to have some assets and savings used to fund…

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When Dementia Drains the Pocketbook

Problems handling finances are often the first sign of cognitive decline. Financial competence involves a complex set of skills, from simple arithmetic to remembering to pay bills to understanding how loans work. Therefore, impaired seniors are at risk not only because unscrupulous outsiders (or their own family members) can defraud them, but because they themselves make self-destructive decisions as shoppers or investors. This is a strong indicator that a dementia diagnosis will follow, often within a year. So how should a primary care physician respond when a family member reports these symptoms? The JAMA article suggests that doctors talk to…

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Preventing financial abuse of your aging parent

Most people regard elder abuse as physical harm i.e abused in nursing home etc. However, financial elder abuse is the exploitation of seniors to gain access to their property, investments, cash, or real estate. Elder abuse includes identity theft, telemarketing cons, stealing Social Security checks from outdoor mailboxes, and fraud by unscrupulous contractors and financial advisers. However, it is not only the stranger but family members also are involved. Here are some signs of exploitation: Your parent has a new "best friend," becomes socially isolated, hesitant to contact unless the “best friend” is present.   Unpaid bills – although someone…

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Stealing from Grandma and Grandpa

Warning signs of elder theft and offers tips on what to do if you suspect a family member or friend is suffering financial abuse