Elder Abuse Scam Alert: Keep Your Beloved Seniors Informed

Scammers target the vulnerable. Unfortunately this often means senior citizens. Whether operating their scams by phone or door-to-door, criminals regard confused or trusting elders as ideal victims. Elder abuse prevention includes alerting seniors about potential scams and highlighting some of the crimes being perpetrated, but can sometimes call for investigative techniques to identify dangers.

Elder Abuse Scams Include Phony Utility Workers

Posing as water, gas, cable or power company employees is a common method of earning the trust of elders. Recent surveillance footage showed thieves posing as water company employees gaining access to the house of an elderly couple in Pittsburgh in order to rob them. It serves as a timely warning that seniors should always examine the ID or credentials of any caller claiming to be a utility worker or government official, before letting them in. Even better, seniors should have the utility worker or official wait outside, with the door locked, while they call the respective company or office to verify the house call is legitimate. Any bona fide person will understand, and respect, the seniors cautionary actions.

Positions of Trust are Often Manipulated in Elder Abuse Cases

There are numerous examples of caretakers or janitors using their privileged access to scam seniors in their building. In these instances, elder abuse prevention can require the deployment of investigative techniques:

  • Complete Background checks: employment agencies are not always entirely meticulous in vetting staff. A trained investigator can use a complete background check to look for any prior criminal records or associations that can set the alarm bells ringing.
  • Identity checks: Scammers are usually smart enough to use false names, but a little investigative digging can often expose their real identities, or prove that their current identity is a fake.
  • Asset checks: An Asset Search can be used as an investigative check into seniors' financial and property records can reveal whether scammers have infiltrated bank accounts or altered deeds. Often, elder abuse takes place in the form of financial elder abuse, which can involve the steady siphoning of funds from a victim's account over a period of months or even years. An investigation can uncover this kind of fraud and provide the evidence for subsequent prosecution.

Do You Supsect Elder Abuse in a Retirement Home?

Clients are often concerned about the treatment of their parents or grandparents in retirement homes, but don't have the hard evidence to back their suspicions. If they are anxious about the attitude of staff, an investigation can be a key first stage in elder abuse prevention. Surveillance at the residence can highlight any problems of abuse. Background checks on staff can also identify any possibility of financial scams or potential violent treatment of residents. An investigation can provide peace of mind or identify dangers at an early stage.

Contact a California Private Investigator; We're Elder Abuse Investigation experts

Mike Garroutte, owner of Linked Investigations is a California private investigator with more than 30 years experience in background checks, surveillance and general investigative techniques. A free consultation will outline how our services can help protect seniors. Give us a call, toll free, at 1-877-464-5374.

Published on: 
August 1, 2013
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