Elderly people are some of the most vulnerable residents of San Francisco. They are at risk of suffering physical and emotional abuse, but those aren't the only ways that a nefarious individual can abuse the elderly. Financial exploitation is also a common form of elder abuse. From unauthorized check cashing to coercing an elderly person to give away their property, financial abuse of the elderly is a serious problem.
Knowing how this abuse occurs can go a long way in protecting elderly citizens. When family members understand how their loved ones become targets of financial abuse, they are better able to take preventative measures. This knowledge can also help them hold the abuser legally responsible for their crimes.
Following are three examples of financial abuse against the elderly:
- Misuse of authority: This occurs when authorized individuals abuse the authority given to them in a legal document (such as a power of attorney) to take possession of an elder's assets.
- Undue influence: This usually occurs when a trusted caregiver or other person uses their influence to bilk the elderly out of cash or assets.
- Extortion: This type of abuse typically occurs when a person uses threats, intimidation or fear to obtain someone's property.
In many cases, you can prevent these and other forms of financial abuse by staying involved in your loved one's financial affairs. If you do spot signs of financial abuse (such as unusual bank account withdrawals), take action right away to prevent further damage to your loved one's finances. Early intervention is also one of the best ways to catch an abuser and bring them to justice.