An elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft can provide help to seniors and their families in fighting scams and taking steps to prevent elder financial abuse. Vulnerable seniors face a grave risk of harm if their caregivers don’t respect their rights. Abuse of seniors takes many forms, from physical abuse to financial abuse. All forms of abuse are damaging because of the impact on a vulnerable senior’s physical and mental well-being.
The Indy Chanel recently reported on an incident of elder abuse, highlighting one common form of financial abuse that occurs: credit card theft. The risks of this type of abuse can be reduced in a number of ways, ranging from working with an elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft so you can get help finding and paying for high-quality caregivers to creating legal documents like a power of attorney which will give younger heirs or beneficiaries the ability and authority to manage money on behalf of their older relatives.
Senior Falls Victim to Financial Abuse in Indianapolis Nursing Home
According to the Indy Channel, the financial elder abuse that took place was reported by the daughter of the victim. The victim is 91-years-old. She has dementia and she lives in a Greenwood assisted living facility. Thieves stole the woman’s credit cards from her assisted living facility, taking four different credit cards. The thieves then used the credit cards at multiple stores, including visiting Walmart and Target to make purchases.
The police are conducting an investigation into the case, and they believe that there were two women who perpetrated the theft. The police believe that the female thieves dressed up in scrubs so they could gain access to assisted living facilities and took credit cards from multiple senior residents. In this particular case, the thieves charged a total of $6,500 in purchases at multiple different stores.
The victim’s daughter indicates that she has power of attorney over her mother’s assets and that she attempted to get the credit card charges reversed. However, she has not had success as her requests to have the charges reversed have been denied. The cards are accruing late fees, and the late fees and delinquent debts are going to hit her mother’s credit report.
The victim’s daughter is concerned about this occurring because her mother has a great credit rating and has worked very hard throughout her lifetime to get everything she has. Her mother’s money and credit cards were the last bit of independence her mother had retained, she told the Indy Channel. She is still persisting in trying to get the charges reversed and the Indy Channel’s investigative team is trying to help her to get the problem resolved.
This type of theft from a vulnerable senior was perpetrated by strangers, but often it is caregivers or even relatives who will make unauthorized charges on the credit cards of older people who may not monitor their accounts as carefully as they should.
If children or younger relatives want to help, they should consider making a plan with their parents to sign up for credit monitoring with alerts that go to the younger relatives. Younger relatives could also check their parents’ credit reports regularly if they have power of attorney to make sure no unauthorized charges are being made, and they may wish to have statements come directly to them so they can watch for suspicious purchases.
Getting Help from an Elder Law Attorney
There are many ways to try to prevent different kinds of financial abuse that may be perpetrated against seniors. If you are getting older and you want to find ways to protect your assets or if you are concerned that your parents or other older relatives may be at risk, you should reach out to legal professionals who can help you to find a solution.
Frank & Kraft can provide advice on what you can do to protect assets, prevent scams, and keep wealth safe during the aging process. To find out more about how an elder law attorney at our firm can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online at any time for personalized help and advice.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.