Financial abuse against elderly Americans is on the rise. In America, almost forty percent of active caregivers for the elderly say that the person in their care has been targeted by predators who exploit or financially abuse them. Worse, almost half of those same caregivers have reported that the fraud perpetrated against the people in their care was not a one-time thing. There are reports that estimate that over thirty billion dollars are lost every year in America to financial elder abuse, and that's a lot of money, especially given that most financial elder abuse may actually go completely unreported.
Elderly Americans are often hungry for contact. Living to an advanced age has left them dependent, lonely and trusting by necessity. They have to rely on others just to get by in their daily lives. Often, the people they rely on most are caregivers, whether they be family or otherwise. Caregivers see things that no one else sees, and in many ways, they are the first line of defense against financial elder abuse. Unfortunately, it can be too easy to turn a blind eye to an elderly person's family problems, or to their troubles with money and those who seek to take it, but doing so can come with a great many risks. Financial elder abuse, as the Welfare and Institutions Code states it, not only involves taking, hiding, appropriating or stealing any real or personal property with an intent to defraud, using one's influence over a vulnerable victim to do so, but it also involves those who are seen as assisting in these actions. Can you be seen as assisting in a fraud by doing nothing when you know that there is ongoing financial abuse against a person in your care? Well, that's for the court to decide, on a case by case basis, but do you really want to risk it? Do you really want to wait until the court involved to find out? That can be a very dangerous game to play.
If you suspect (or know) someone that is a victim of any kind of elder abuse, financial or otherwise, you should report it immediately. As reports have shown, victimizers will continue to prey on the elderly, exploiting the vulnerable until they are stopped. If you don't do something now, not only will the suffering get worse, but others will eventually suffer the same fate at the hands of any criminal you allow to get away with their cruelty.
Ready to get protected? Rayo Law Offices Can Help:
Call (925) 825-1955 or contact Zachary Rayo online to set up an appointment for an initial “meet and greet” consultation.