Seniors fall victim to abuse due to their vulnerability. That is why there are elderly abuse lawyers, to help them in a situation where these vulnerable elderly are victimized, especially financial abuse.
If you are looking for the best elder abuse lawyer in houston, then this article can help you get started learning more about elder financial abuse.
Financial Abuse by Friends and Family Members
An abuser may be a friend, a family member, a caregiver, or somebody that the elderly person trusts. These individuals will commit fraud by forging the seniors’ signature, stealing or selling their property, withdraws cash or transfers money in the bank without permission, or they might compel the elderly to sign a contract. Some indicators this may be happening might be if they are missing important files or documents, or other items around their home go missing. Watch out for unusual changes in their financial obligations such as unpaid bills, and sudden changes in their insurance, or will and property documents. These are all signs of elderly financial abuse and fraud that should be addressed immediately.
Be Wary of Strangers Asking for Money
These financial frauds are usually disguised as fake donations for charities and foundations, health insurance, real estate, and other fraudulent investments. A very common method is e-mail and phone scams telling them that they won a million dollar cash prize and that it can be claimed by sending a “small” amount to an undisclosed location to claim the prize. Unsolicited checks to unfamiliar establishments or organizations, unaccountable expenses, and ATM withdrawals from the elderly person on a date when they were confined, can be possible indications of elderly financial abuse by strangers.
Preventing Financial Fraud
Elderly financial abuse can be prevented by checking on them frequently to make sure everything is all right. Those who are isolated from others and don’t have somebody to check on them are more prone to be victims of financial abuse. That is why they need to be checked up on regularly. Visit them every once and a while, talk to them, ask them questions how they are doing on their own, or if there is something they’ve found to be strange. Listen to them so you’ll get more sensitive of the hints.
Take Action If You Suspect Elderly Financial Fraud
If you suspect that a person may have been a victim of financial fraud, check how urgent the problem is and how it should be solved. Law enforcement assistance is your go to if the senior is financially in need or in physical danger. In less serious situations, the local Adult Protective Services office is where you can ask for help. They can send an investigator to the elderly person’s house to evaluate the situation. The APS can help you solve any issues that may arise. In terms of scams and other elderly financial abuse, it is best to report them right away to the Consumer Affair department in your state so they can give the elderly the proper assistance regarding the matter. Lastly, if you think that the senior can no longer handle their finances and financial decisions properly, ask for conservatorship proceedings to help them remain stable.
Prevention is better than cure. So before ever dealing with fraud, get an elderly law attorney to help you take care of your finances.