Financial abuse of the elderly is a big problem in the United States. Scammers often take advantage of unsophisticated elderly people to rob them of their money.
In a recent case out of New York, a 70-year-old man preyed on elderly people in Brooklyn. He operated a fake insurance company and befriended people in the neighborhood. He would then get them to sign up for his company.
Sometimes this fraudster would forge the names of his victims on documents to transfer their money to his own accounts. If anyone complained, he would pay them off using their own funds.
The scam came to light when one victim noticed that $300,000 had been taken from his bank account.
Courthouse News Service, in an article titled "70-Year-Old's Scam on Elderly Deemed Hate Crime," reports that the scam artist has pleaded guilty to second degree larceny as a hate crime. He also agreed to pay $4.4 million in restitution to his victims.
Although they might not feel like it, the victims in this case are the lucky ones.
Many other incidents of financial abuse of the elderly go unnoticed and unpunished as neither the victims nor their families ever learn what is going on.
It is very important that elderly people and those who love them remain vigilant and be on the lookout for possible scams. If you think that an elderly person might be the victim of financial abuse, consult with an elder law attorney and local law enforcement.
Reference: Courthouse News Service (Jan. 20, 2016) "70-Year-Old's Scam on Elderly Deemed Hate Crime