There are several forms of nursing home abuse, including theft of money, jewelry, and other personal items. Nursing home residents, particularly those with cognitive impairment, are also more vulnerable to scams, fraud, and financial exploitation.
Unscrupulous caregivers can take advantage of your spouse or parent. It is important that you recognize the warning signs of potential financial abuse.
Should your loved one have money or personal items missing from their nursing home, you may want to call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We can give you an honest assessment, and if we believe we can help, you pay nothing upfront.
Please call for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys.
Warning Signs of Financial Abuse, Fraud, or Theft
Whether it is missing money, personal items, or suspicious charges on a credit card, financial abuse of older Americans is rampant. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Americans age 60 and older lost over $2.9 billion in 2010. This number is probably higher, since financial exploitation and fraud are often underreported crimes.
The CFPB lists the following as potential signs that your loved one may be the victim of financial abuse:
- Complaints that money, checkbook, credit cards, and other valuable items are missing.
- Several checks made out to “cash.”
- Distress in the presence of an individual.
- Sudden lack of basic personal needs or medications.
- Inconsistencies in credit card and bank statements.
- Unpaid bills.
- Unexplained charges on a credit card or unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
- Sudden changes in behavior, such as hoarding or hiding possessions.
- New, unexplained charges on the nursing home invoice or bill.
- Caregiver suddenly has expensive jewelry and other personal items allegedly purchased as “gifts” from your loved one.
You should know that unscrupulous caregivers tend to prey on the most vulnerable residents. This includes people with cognitive impairment. They may try to blame the resident for missing money or personal items.
What to Do if You Suspect Elder Financial Abuse
The New York Office of Children and Family Services defines financial abuse of a senior citizen as the illegal or improper use of their money, property, or assets.
Should you suspect that your parent or spouse is being taken advantage of, you may want to take the following actions:
- Cancel or freeze credit and bank cards.
- Do an audit of your loved one’s finances.
- Ask the nursing home for a detailed invoice if there are new or unexplained charges.
- Sign up with a credit monitoring bureau service to protect against unauthorized charges.
A New York City missing money or personal items lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can be a source of reliable, confidential information. Please do not hesitate to call our law firm for a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation with an missing money or personal items lawyer serving New York City, call (800) 794-0444
Online and Telephone Scams That Target Elderly Individuals
Some caregivers use elaborate schemes to commit fraud against nursing home residents. These bad actors use email, telephone calls, or postal mail to try and scam older people’s hard-earned savings.
Here are a few of the more common consumer scams:
- Fake charity: Someone claiming to represent a legitimate charity or creating a fictitious charity to get donations.
- Relative in trouble: The scammer will pretend to be a relative who needs money sent or wired to get them out of trouble, usually in a foreign country.
- IRS scams: Con artists pretend to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and threaten to take legal action unless the victim pays over the phone using a credit or debit card.
- Fake “official” letters: These look like they come from legitimate agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, but they are ploys to get money by check or credit card.
In some situations, an unscrupulous caregiver may bring an accomplice to visit your loved one. They solicit for investors in a fake company or use some other ruse to cheat their elderly victims.
New York City Missing Money or Personal Items Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Law Firm Can Help
You and your loved one may be entitled to compensation that includes the return of money or personal items. You have the right to file a nursing home lawsuit for other damages, too. Financial abuse is both a criminal and civil offense, and a nursing home abuse lawyer can help protect your rights.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm accepts nursing home abuse cases. We may be able to help you recover compensation and justice through a process that includes:
- Auditing your loved one’s missing money, valuables, securities, and other assets.
- Collecting evidence of wrongdoing.
- Identifying all liable parties.
- Pursuing compensation for your economic and noneconomic losses.
It takes time to build a legal case, and New York has a statute of limitations. You will want to act today to preserve your right to compensation.
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Proving Liability for Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes are supposed to follow protocol when it comes to hiring caregivers. They have an obligation to their residents to provide a safe environment that is free from violence and exploitation.
Nursing homes can be held liable for employees who scam, cheat, or steal from their residents. It is within your legal right to explore all your options for recovery.
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Protecting the Elderly from Financial Exploitation
The CFPB offers four “pillars” of intervention to protect your loved one:
- Prevent: Prevent financial exploitation through training and awareness.
- Recognize: Know the warning signs (missing money, unexplained charges).
- Record: Take notes of financial exploitation or theft.
- Report: Contact the proper authorities.
A New York City missing money or personal items lawyer with our firm can help you report the situation to nursing home officials, law enforcement, and appropriate state agencies.
A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help Recover Compensation
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you recover compensation, including:
- Return of money and valuables
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to financial abuse
Our nursing home abuse attorneys work on a contingency basis. You pay nothing up front, and we are only paid if we are successful in getting you compensation.
Please call today for a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer.