Risk of Financial Abuse Highest Among Dependent Adults
Posted on Saturday, September 11th, 2021 at 6:56 pm
Financial abuse causes an estimated $36.5 billion in losses every year. Sadly, older adults are more vulnerable to this type of elder abuse, especially those living in nursing homes. That’s because seniors dependent on others for daily care and assistance usually can’t avoid falling victim to financial exploitation. Some aren’t familiar with online banking, and others don’t have the mental capacity to realize what’s happening to them.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they received approximately 800,000 complaints of cybercrimes in 2020. Over half of these complaints involved individuals 50 years of age and older. Cybercriminals often exploit older adults because they tend to be easy targets. These perpetrators might present themselves as potential love interests, a relative having money problems, law enforcement officials, and other individuals requesting financial information.
Trusted Caregivers Take Advantage of Older Adults
Although some seniors can identify certain scams, others aren’t so lucky. That’s because, in many incidents, the victim knows the person scamming them. According to the Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans, 36 percent of financial exploitation cases involve someone the victim knows personally. This can make it easier for the perpetrator to gain access to the victim’s bank accounts and other assets, especially if they have been appointed to handle the elderly person’s finances.
Cognitive impairment increases the risk of financial exploitation because the victim won’t be able to remember what happened to them. Someone could steal money from their parent suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Or a spouse might refuse to pay their husband or wife’s nursing home expenses and spend the money on themselves instead.
Indictment Against Man Accused of Exploiting His Mother
Recently, a Webster County Grand Jury indicted a man on charges of theft. His stepmother signed over a Power of Attorney in March 2016 for him to handle her finances. Several years later, she moved into a long-term care facility.
Despite being responsible for her expenses, the defendant allegedly never made the necessary payments to the facility for her care. Instead, he combined her funds with his and bought things that had nothing to do with his stepmother’s needs, such as a truck and trailer. In total, he spent around $40,000 on personal items.
The Attorney General has asked residents for help finding the defendant. A warrant is also pending for his arrest. If convicted, the man could face up to ten years in prison for Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property of $10,000 or more.
Call Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP Today
If your loved one has been the victim of financial exploitation or another type of abuse, do not hesitate to contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP. We have been fighting for our clients’ rights since 1890 and will do the same for you. Your relative should not have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s wrongdoing. We will use our experience and resources to hold the at-fault party liable and try to pursue the maximum compensation available.
Call Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP at (859) 550-2900 right now for your free consultation. We will be your advocate and help your loved one recover from this traumatic experience.