Financial exploitation of the elderly is perhaps the most prevalent form of elder abuse in the country. For too many criminals the temptation is overwhelming to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of senior community members for their own financial gain. As a result many innocent victims lose thousands and thousands of dollars-money that has often been saved over a lifetime of work.
Elder financial abuse comes in various forms, typically with the same goal: to gain access to the personal financial information of the victim. At nursing homes this often occurs when employees of the facility steal the information found in nursing home records to bilk the unsuspecting resident. It is for that reason that nursing home administrators must be particularly vigilant about all employees that they hire and determining which ones have access to patient records.
Yesterday the Herald Tribune reported on elder financial abuse outside of the nursing home. An 81-year old man was at his home when he received a phone call. The caller claimed to be a “Detective Johnson” and said that he needed to get personal information from the victim as part of his duties as a police officer. Eventually the elderly man became suspicious and hung up on the fake caller. However, the criminal was still able to get enough personal financial information out of the man before the call ended. Over $12,000 was ultimately stolen from the senior’s bank account.
Police arrested the criminal only months later. It is unclear if any of the stolen funds were recovered.
These tragic stories of stolen money highlight the sad fact that many people are willing to take advantage of some of our most vulnerable community members. It is imperative that everyone be on the look-out for elder abuse and take a stand for those who are often unable to fight for themselves. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers work every day to do just that. Please contact an elder abuse attorney if you know of any improper care or treatment of a senior.
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