California Law requires all bank employees to report all suspected cases of elder financial abuse. The California Bankers Association has compiled a list of tips to help consumers be more vigilant in keeping seniors safe.

Elder financial abuse is a somewhat unique crime in that, oftentimes, it is a member of the family, close friend or caregiver who ends up perpetrating the crime, making it that much more difficult to detect.

I would encourage you to look out for these common elder financial abuse schemes:

– Misappropriation of income or assets – Fraudster obtains access to an elder’s Social Security checks, pension payments, checking or savings account, credit card or ATM, or withholds portions of checks cashed for an elder.

– Charging excessive rent or fees for service – Perpetrator charges an elder an excessive rent or unreasonable fees for basic care services such as transportation, food, or medicine.

– Obtaining money or property by undue influence, misrepresentation, or fraud – Perpetrator coerces an elder into signing over investments, real estate or other assets through the use of manipulation, intimidation or threats.

– Pigeon drop – Perpetrator claims to have found a sum of money and offers to split it with an elder provided the elder first withdraws an amount equal to his or her share as a sign of good faith.

– Fake accident ploy – Perpetrator convinces an elder that the elder’s child has been seriously injured or is in jail and needs money for medical treatment or bail.

– Telemarketing and mail fraud – Perpetrator persuades an elder to buy a valueless or nonexistent product, donate to a bogus charity or invest in a fictitious enterprise.

– Fake prizes – Perpetrator tells an elder that he or she has won a nonexistent prize and either asks the elder to send a check to pay the taxes on this nonexistent prize or obtains the elder’s credit card or checking account number to pay for shipping and handling charges for the prize.

– Unsolicited work – Perpetrator arrives unexpectedly at an elder’s residence and offers to perform work for a reasonable fee; after starting the work, the perpetrator insists that the elder pay more than originally agreed before the work will be completed.

To get more information check out Whitney S. Boan, P.A. here.