UNDUE INFLUENCE, Fraud and Manipulation:
Trust is at the heart of any relationship. But trust becomes a weapon when it is used against senior citizens by individuals who seek to exploit them for their own financial gain. The financial exploitation of senior citizens occurs in many forms, and often involves someone on who the senior has placed their trust. Simply put, financial exploitation occurs when an unauthorized person gains access and control over the financial resources of a senior citizen. In some cases, access is gained through swindling, fraud or deception. In other cases, the senior citizen is manipulated , intimidated, bullied, or otherwise forced to hand over access and control of their money, credit cards and assets to another person. That person then uses the money other assets for their own purposes, often leaving the elder in financial ruin, or worse.
These despots use a variety of ways to gain control over the senior’s finances and assets, and the methods change often. Some seniors are the victims of outright scams, like the home repairman who invents an emergency and frightens the senior into handing over cash to fix the problem. Others, often caregivers and even family members, gain access and control over the senior citizen through abuse, fake powers of attorney and fake deeds to the elder’s home and other assets. Other forms of neglect and manipulation are often associated with financial exploitation which also includes creating fear of financial needs and lack which is used to convince the elder of a need for additional credit cards, loans, reverse mortgage which require the elder to sign over deeds to the elder’s home and other assets.
Across the country, senior citizens and their families have become the unwitting targets for such deplorable behavior. Education and preparation are key factors to fighting such tactics.