Warning Signs ChecklistClaims for financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in Arizona are covered by the Adult Protective Services Act.  Of course, it is better to be on the look out for the warning signs of exploitation to prevent exploitation before it occurs.

Here is a list of just some of the signs to be aware:

  • Elderly person concerned about “missing” funds in their accounts
  • Elderly person confused about extent of their assets
  • Neglected or receiving insufficient care given their financial status
  • Isolated from others, even family members
  • Unable to remember financial transactions or signing paperwork
  • Accompanied by stranger to the bank who encourages them to withdraw large amounts of cash
  • Accompanied by family member or other person who seems to coerce them into making transactions
  • Elderly person not allowed to speak for themselves
  • Elderly person not allowed to make decisions for themselves
  • Implausible explanation given by caregivers about the elderly person’s finances
  • Implausible explanation given by the elderly person about their finances
  • Significant withdrawals from the elder’s accounts
  • Sudden changes in the elder’s financial condition
  • Cash missing from the elder’s household
  • Unpaid bills
  • Notices to discontinue utilities
  • Eviction notices
  • Transfers between bank accounts that the elderly person cannot explain
  • Bank statements no longer come to the elder’s home
  • New “best friends”
  • Missing belongings
  • Missing property
  • Suspicious signatures on checks and other documents
  • Absence of documentation about financial arrangement
  • Elderly person is unaware of financial arrangements that have been made
  • Elderly person does not understand financial arrangements that have been made
  • Noticeable change in appearance and grooming
  • Disorientation
  • Change in mood
  • Change in eye contact with bank personnel
  • Cringing or withdrawing
  • Hesitancy to enter into conversation
  • Nervousness or fear of the person accompanying the elder
  • Numerous bank withdrawals not consistent with elder’s spending habits
  • Acquaintance/family member too interested in the elder’s finances
  • Applies for a credit card for the first time
  • Changes account beneficiaries
  • Changes property titles, deeds, or other documents
  • Refinances a mortgage
  • Makes abrupt changes in a will, trust, or Power of Attorney
  • Elder is offered care in exchange for property or access to bank accounts
  • Elder’s account activity shows activity the elder could not have performed
  • Elder has purchased items that he or she cannot use
  • Caregiver using the elder’s property or possessions without permission
  • Increased activity on credit cards
  • Numerous new withdrawals, usually in round numbers
  • Withdrawals made from savings or CD’s in spite of penalty assessments
  • New authorized signers on accounts
  • Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relative claiming rights to elder’s affairs and possessions
  • Provision of services that are not necessary
  • Caregiver obtaining unauthorized access to elder’s Social Security checks
  • Caregiver obtaining unauthorized access to elder’s pension payments
  • Caregiver obtaining unauthorized access to checking or savings account
  • Identity theft
  • Portions of checks cashed for elderly person are withheld
  • Charging an elder excessive rent
  • Charging an elder unreasonable fees for basic care
  • Pressuring an elder to give a “gift”
  • Scams that use deception, scare tactics, or exaggerated claims to get money from elders
  • Confidence scams claiming to have found money and offering to split it with the elder if they pay money
  • Investment scams, persuading elderly person to invest
  • Calls from telemarketers selling worthless, over priced, or nonexistent products
  • Calls asking for donations for a religious organization
  • Unfair or misleading home equity agreements that cause elders to lose their homes
  • Inappropriate financials products and services
  • Convincing an elder that their child has been injured or is in jail and needs money
  • Entry forms and prizes from contests
  • Payments made for “free” vacations or other merchandise
  • Untreated physical or mental problems
  • Large, frequent gifts made to caregiver
  • Live-in caregiver refuses to leave
  • Live-in caregiver is evasive about financial arrangements
  • Elderly person takes out large, unexplained loans
  • Checks written to unusual recipients, such as salespersons or telemarketers
  • The transfer of an elder’s assets to a family member or acquaintance without explanation
  • Complaints of stolen or misplaced credit cards, valuables, checkbooks, or checks
  • Far-fetched explanations of why the elder needs money
  • Denying elderly person access to their money
  • Preventing elderly person from controlling their assets
  • Onset or worsening of illnesses or disability
  • Relative or caregiver borrowing money from the elder and not paying it back
  • Elder’s possessions being given away or sold without permission
  • Handing out the elder’s money to family or friends

Berk Law Group is Here to Help

If you believe that someone you care about is the victim of financial exploitation in Arizona, we are here to help.  Call 480.607.7900 or contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.