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Stealing From Your Own Grandmother Is Elderly Financial Abuse

  • Dec 18 2013
  • Gilleon Law Firm

A bank employee becomes suspicious when she witnesses a large, abnormal withdrawal from a bank account, but remains silent because of concerns about privacy. To combat this and choose the fight against fraud over protecting privacy, eight federal agencies recently released a joint document clarifying that employees of financial institutions should emphasize preventing elderly financial abuse over client privacy.

The Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 obligates financial institutions to notify customers and give them an opportunity to disallow release of their nonpublic personal information to a third party. The new guidance issued by the eight agencies clarifies the law by declaring that banks and other financial centers may disclose nonpublic personal information to law enforcement officers who are investigating the suspected financial abuse of senior citizens.

What is financial elder abuse?

Financial elder abuse occurs when con artists, caregivers and trusted family members take or appropriate money or property from an elder with the intent to defraud them. The abuse can come in various ways:

  • Forging an elder’s signature
  • Taking an elder’s money or property
  • Influencing a senior citizen to sign a deed or other legal document
  • Using the property of an elderly person without permission
  • Promising health or personal care in exchange for an elder’s property or money
  • Using ploys to acquire the confidence of a senior citizen in order to gain access to his or her finances and property

Easy victims

Elderly people are easy targets for financial abuse. Ruthless professionals can take advantage of senior citizens because they are often isolated and lonely. In addition, family members who are attempting to manipulate their way to an inheritance may target seniors suffering from physical or mental disabilities. Older people are often unfamiliar with money matters and can be easily tricked into releasing access to their finances.

If you suspect that your grandparent may be the victim of elder financial abuse, do not hesitate to contact our experienced elderly abuse attorney before it is too late.


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