Unfortunately, there are predators out there looking for ways to financially exploit seniors. Be on the lookout for these four things:
- Changes to Bank Accounts. Check statements monthly and pay attention to any large withdrawals. Review the cancelled checks to make sure they were not made out to cash. Make sure no changes are made to the status of the account (new signature authorizations, payable on death beneficiaries added, etc.)
- Valuables. Regularly check on all personal valuables such as jewelry collections, antiques, artwork, etc. Take inventory frequently. Know who is allowed entry into the elder’s home and keep track of when individuals come and go.
- Isolation. If any new person in the elder’s life attempts to cut him or her off from friends and family view it as a serious warning. Make sure you are not prevented from checking on financials and taking property inventories.
- Fear. If your loved one expresses any type of fear towards other family members, neighbors or caregivers keep a close eye on the individual. Sometimes elders fear the abusers but are not able to articulate what is happening. Watch those individuals closely. Consider using a “nanny” cam or some other type of surveillance.
If you suspect financial elder abuse, consult with an experienced elder law attorney in the Greater Baltimore area.