If you really are concerned about financial exploitation or other elder abuse, you should call Adult Protective Services so that they can investigate. They will not disclose the name of the reporting party to the older person or suspected perpetrator.
If you want to report elder financial abuse, contact your local county APS Office (PDF). Abuse reports may also be made to you local law enforcement agency.
You can report senior citizen scams to Adult Protective Services as well as your local police. Should you receive a call from someone posing as an IRS agent, or agent from another government agency, report it to that agency as well.
The federal Elder Justice Act, enacted in 2010, defines financial exploitation of the elderly as, “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act that uses the resources of an elder for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, or that results in depriving an elder the rightful access to, or
If you suspect financial abuse of an elderly person, you can contact Adult Protective Services, local law enforcement, or the senior’s financial institution. It is best to get help for financial abuse as soon as possible. An attorney’s advice can also be extremely helpful in this situation.
Family Members. One study found that more than 90 percent of financial abusers were family members or close friends. Family dynamics can set up a situation where a relative financially exploits a senior. In this situation, financial exploitation may be referred to as financial mistreatment, fiduciary, or economic abuse
Elder abuse fraud or senior fraud is defined under California law as wrongfully defrauding a person age 65 or older out of money or property.
Scams are fraud, which is illegal, so your next step should be to contact law enforcement. Start by contacting your local police department and file a police report. The police will usually assign an officer to the case who will help you fill out the police report.
To file a complaint, just go to ftc.gov/complaint, and answer the questions. Or call That’s all there is to it. If you’ve been ripped off or scammed, complain to the Federal Trade Commission. It can help put the bad guys out of business.
Signs of financial abuse Unexplained money loss. Lack of money to pay for essentials such as rent, bills and food. Inability to access or check bank accounts and bank balance. Changes or deterioration in standards of living e.g. not having items or things they would usually have.
Financial exploitation occurs when a person misuses or takes the assets of a vulnerable adult for his/her own personal benefit. This frequently occurs without the explicit knowledge or consent of a senior or disabled adult, depriving him/her of vital financial resources for his/her personal needs.
Financial crimes against the elderly fall under two general categories: fraud committed by strangers, and financial exploitation by relatives and caregivers. These categories sometimes overlap in terms of target selection and the means used to commit the crime.
Here are some steps to consider taking:
What Can I Do If Someone Is Taking Advantage of an Elderly Family Member?
Each California County has an Adult Protective Services (APS) agency to help elder adults (65 years and older) and dependent adults (18-64 who are disabled), when these adults are unable to meet their own needs, or are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation.