Thinking about the process of aging often sparks many people’s concerns about physical or even mental decline in abilities. However, elder fraud cases are becoming an increasingly common issue across the country. If you have an elderly loved one in California, it’s important to be aware about how they could be targeted for potential elder fraud.
According to recommendations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, banks should start reporting suspected financial crimes against the elderly to local, federal and state authorities. The agency believes that elder fraud is a widespread and damaging issue that could cause an average loss of more than $41,000 for those victims over the age of 70. Elder fraud can take many different versions, but can also affect a loved one’s estate plan. Even if the estate plan isn’t the primary target for elder fraud, elder fraud that wipes out your assets could influence your beneficiaries’ ability to receive what you intended to pass on to them.
As an elderly loved one or as a caretaker for a family member in older ages, it’s important to watch out for sudden signs of elder fraud, such as accounts being opened which a loved one doesn’t remember, regular and large transactions that don’t make sense, or updated estate planning documents that reflect a new caregiver or other party you’re not familiar with.