With age, people become increasingly more vulnerable to duplicitous actors and schemes. Unfortunately, this makes seniors prime targets for exploitation. Financial crimes against the elderly are severe offenses, and understanding them is critical to preventing them from occurring. There are two primary types of this abuse, and each type has sub-categories.
What are the two main categories of elderly financial abuse crimes? Learn what they are and why you need to work with a premier attorney in our blog.
What Are the Two Categories of Elderly Financial Abuse Crimes?
Financial crimes against the elderly occur when someone steals or embezzles money or property from a senior. This abuse often has devastating consequences on seniors and leaves them paranoid, unable to provide for their needs, and fearful of the future.
Essentially, there are two categories of this abuse. Read more to understand both and protect your senior loved one from financial exploitation.
Abuse by Strangers
The first category is abuse perpetrated by strangers when asking yourself, “What are the two categories of elderly financial abuse crimes?”
These financial crimes against the elderly usually involve consciously and intentionally deceiving a senior with false promises of nonexistent, unnecessary, and grossly misrepresented goods, services, and benefits.
These malicious actors intentionally exploit a senior’s vulnerable position to acquire money, sensitive information, or property from them. Some of the most common examples of senior financial abuse by strangers include:
- Prizes and sweepstakes fraud
- Investment fraud
- Charity contribution fraud
- Home/car repair fraud
- Loans and mortgage fraud
- Health, funeral, and life insurance fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
These fraud schemes typically share the same elements. The offenders gain trust and confidence through charm and charisma, by communicating a concern for the elder’s well-being, or by using a business name similar to that of a well-established company.
In doing so, they suggest that the senior is special or lucky to have received their offer. This impression imposes pressure to make an immediate decision or commitment, prohibiting them from mulling it over and consulting with friends or family.
This type of fraud also generally comes with a sense of secrecy to minimize the chance of detection by family, neighbors, friends, or other concerned individuals. Worse yet, this fraud occurs quickly and often has minimal risk of exposure.
Abuse by Relatives, Friends, or Caregivers
When considering what the two categories of elderly financial abuse crimes are, the most insidious and painful is often the second: abuse by relatives, friends, or caregivers.
These individuals are often in a position of trust and have some kind of sustained relationship with the senior. Oftentimes, this abuse is the result of undue influence, duress, fraud, or a simple lack of informed consent. These individuals often employ tactics like:
- Emotional and physical abuse
- Empty promises of lifelong care
These financial crimes against the elderly occur when the perpetrator steals, withholds, or misuses the senior’s money, property, or valuables for their gain or advantage. Common methods include:
- Purloining money, property, or valuables
- Borrowing money and not repaying it
- Forcing the senior to give away resources or sign over property
- Misusing ATM or credit cards or using them without permission
- Denying services or medical care to save funds
- Giving the senior’s money to others
- Giving away or cashing pension or social security checks without permission
- Exploiting trusts, wills, joint bank accounts, or power of attorney assignments
Still, proving this abuse is incredibly complicated because you must distinguish between a misguided financial decision and an intentionally harmful act, which is when working with a premier attorney is of the utmost importance.
Get Expert Representation to Combat Financial Crimes Against the Elderly and Receive Justice
Now that you have answered the question of what are the two categories of elderly financial abuse crimes, it is essential to understand that senior financial exploitation can take innumerable forms. In the end, vigilance is the most effective means of prevention. Still, these perpetrators are strategic and experts at avoiding detection, so if your elder loved one has fallen victim to this abuse already, contacting an expert attorney is crucial for your loved one’s security and well-being.
Fortunately, at Gokal Law Group, we offer unequaled, specialty elder abuse representation to deliver justice, protect your senior loved ones, and beat back individuals with nefarious intent. Contact us for a consultation.