One of the darkest secrets in our culture is financial abuse of older people. Many schemes are aimed at defrauding older people out of their assets. Unfortuantly, some of the worst perpetrators are family members.
Elder financial abuse spans a broad spectrum of conduct, including:
- Taking money or property
- Forging an older person’s signature
- Getting an older person to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence
- Using the older person’s property or possessions without permission
- Promising lifelong care in exchange for money or property and not following through on the promise
- Confidence crimes (“cons”) are the use of deception to gain victims’ confidence
- Scams are fraudulent or deceptive acts
- Fraud is the use of deception, trickery, false pretense, or dishonest acts or statements for financial gain
- Telemarketing scams. Perpetrators call victims and use deception, scare tactics, or exaggerated claims to get them to send money. They may also make charges against victims’ credit cards without authorization
It’s important to be aware so you can help your loved ones to avoid such elder financial abuse.