Individuals over the age of 50 own 70 percent of the nation’s assets. This fact alone should cause you to be concerned for the welfare of a loved one who is in a nursing home. Elderly patients are seen by racketeers as easy targets and are unscrupulously preyed upon for financial gain. If you believe that your loved one has been victimized, it is important that you contact the police and hire a Tampa nursing home neglect lawyer.
Why the Elderly Are Particularly at Risk for Scams
Anyone can fall victim to a scam. Credit card and identify theft, pyramid schemes, and false investment opportunities are just a few of the ways perpetrators bilk unassuming individuals out of millions of dollars every year. The elderly are especially at risk because of their vulnerability. This is especially true of those who reside in nursing homes.
Other reasons an elderly person may be targeted are:
- The perpetrator believes he won’t live long enough to seek legal remedy;
- The patient may not understand more recent technology;
- The patient has predictable patterns, such as receiving monthly Social Security payments; or
- The perpetrator assumes the patient will not take legal action out of embarrassment or fear.
A Tampa nursing home neglect attorney will tell you that elderly people can often be tricked into placing their confidence in scammers. A caregiver may convince a patient through words and actions that they love and care for the person, yet have ulterior motives. An elderly patient may place valuable possessions in the care of those at the facility, only to have them plundered.
Types of Scams
A Tampa nursing home neglect lawyer will tell you that scams against the elderly take many forms. Among the many are:
- Forging a signature;
- Coercing the resident to sign a document, such as a check;
- Fraudulent use of credit and debit cards;
- Taking valuable property or money;
- Identity theft;
- Investment fraud;
- Charging for healthcare services that are not provided; or
- Medicaid fraud.
Signs to Look for
It is important that you keep a keen eye out for possible scams perpetrated against your loved one. There are some indications to look for:
- Unpaid bills;
- Unusual activity in bank accounts;
- Missing property;
- Suspicious signatures on documents;
- Unusual interest on the part of a caregiver in the patient’s finances; and
- Involvement of your loved one in a new investment “opportunity.”
Work With a Tampa Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
If your loved one has fallen victim to fraud, you may have grounds for a civil tort through which you can receive compensation. Call Tampa nursing home neglect lawyer Peter Giroux today to arrange a consultation at (727) 895-5399.