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Signs of elder financial exploitation

When it comes to financial exploitation, seniors are at particular risk. As people grow older, they lose more of their independence and become reliant on others for their daily needs and to handle their financial matters. Unfortunately, this opens the way for bad actors in New Mexico to work their way into a senior’s confidence and gain access to the senior’s money and assets. Relatives of a vulnerable senior should watch out for signs that something is amiss.

AARP warns people to be on the lookout when a senior citizen does not recall certain financial transactions. This can easily be dismissed as a lapse of memory that many seniors experience. However, if your loved one has generally been sharp about financial matters and is now suddenly unaware of certain financial activities, this could be a sign someone has been utilizing the senior’s finances without the senior’s knowledge.

Sometimes scammers will take advantage of a senior’s diminished physical abilities. Seniors that live in nursing homes, for example, may still own property, like the home they used to live in. A dishonest contractor may claim that the home needs extensive work, but the owner is in no position to confirm the house’s current state. The senior will then be alarmed by the contractor’s claim and authorize the repairs for a large sum.

While living in a nursing home, it is possible for your elder relative to make new friends. Some of these friends can be positive influences on the senior’s life, but others might have dishonest intentions. An unscrupulous person may sense a senior is vulnerable and befriend the senior with the intention of gaining access to the senior’s finances. Some seniors feel lonely and will readily accept a connection from anyone.

Sometimes the act of a senior being placed in a nursing home is an act of elder abuse by itself. Forbes chronicles instances where elderly individuals or people who suffered from a medical condition had been placed under the care of guardianships who then put them into nursing homes against their wills. The abusers then availed themselves of the victims’ finances. In some cases, relatives of the victims were able to petition courts to free their loved ones and release control from the abuser.

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