The Elderly are Targeted for Financial Abuse
More than $2.9 billion was stolen from the elderly through financial exploitation in 2012. While it’s true that anyone can get duped by a good scam artist, a study published by MetLife Mature Market Institute points out that older Americans are the most likely targets.
When you consider that the elderly are also more likely to be victims of emotional and physical abuse, it makes us worry about our older relatives even more than we already do.
There are plenty of scams out there. Here are some common ways the elderly are cheated out of money:
- Deceiving an older person into signing estate documents that change beneficiaries.
- Forging a signature on checks or other documents that syphon money away without the rightful owner’s knowledge
- Taking advantage of immobility by using the older person’s car or property without them knowing it
- High-Tech scams – Phone calls and door-to-door scam artists do exist, but these days, a lot of scams involve the Internet. Older people are embracing technology more and more, but are more likely to give out vital information including credit card numbers.
Additionally, if you have an elderly relative in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important to keep your ears and eyes open. This is true when you visit as well as when you review their financial information such as billing and bank account statements.
New Jersey has specific laws and penalties governing identity theft of a senior citizen or veteran as well as financial exploitation of someone considered to be “vulnerable.” In my view, the elderly are included in this “vulnerable” group.
If you believe you or your loved one has been the victim of financial abuse, enlist the assistance of an experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights. Nursing home abuse lawyer Barry Sugarman will protect your interests and work hard to not only hold the perpetrators of the abuse responsible for their illegal behavior, but to also get your family compensated for any losses sustained. Contact him today for a free consultation about your situation.