What You Must Do When Scams Regarding Power of Attorney Occur
Elder financial abuse is an unfortunately common and devastating crime that can leave vulnerable individuals without their life savings. One of the most insidious forms of this abuse is the Power of Attorney scam.
This scam involves someone, often a family member or caregiver, who is granted Power of Attorney over an elderly person’s finances. Instead of acting in the best interests of the elder, the person with Power of Attorney may use their position to drain the elder’s bank accounts, sell off their assets, and leave them with nothing.
At Kreizer Law, we understand how devastating elder financial abuse can be. Our Tinton Falls injury attorneys believe that everyone deserves justice, especially those who have been taken advantage of in such a heinous way.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Power of Attorney scam, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. We have experience in representing victims of elder financial abuse and can work to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. You deserve justice, and we are here to help you get it.
How do POA Scams Work?
Power of attorney (POA) scams typically involve a perpetrator taking advantage of an elderly or vulnerable person by obtaining control over their finances. Here’s how it can work:
- The perpetrator convinces the elderly person to sign over power of attorney: The perpetrator may use various tactics, such as befriending the elderly person, offering to help with their finances, or pretending to be a legal or financial professional. Once the perpetrator has gained the person’s trust, they may convince them to sign a document granting them power of attorney.
- The perpetrator gains control over the elderly person’s finances: With power of attorney in hand, the perpetrator can access the elderly person’s bank accounts, investments, and other assets. They may begin to withdraw funds, sell assets, or transfer money to their own accounts.
- The perpetrator isolates the elderly person: To prevent anyone from discovering the scam, the perpetrator may isolate the elderly person from family and friends or restrict their access to phones and the internet.
- The scam is discovered: The elderly person may eventually realize that their finances are being mismanaged, or family members may become suspicious and investigate. By then, it may be too late to recover the funds that have been stolen.
To prevent power of attorney scams, it’s important to be cautious when granting someone else control over your finances. Always consult with a trusted attorney or financial advisor before signing any legal documents, and regularly monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.
How Do I Protect my Elderly Loved One from a POA Scam?
Protecting an elderly loved one from a power of attorney (POA) scam can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk:
- Educate your loved one: Talk to your loved one about POA scams and how they work. Encourage them to be cautious when granting someone control over their finances and to seek advice from a trusted professional before signing any legal documents.
- Choose a trustworthy agent: If your loved one decides to grant someone power of attorney, help them choose an agent who is trustworthy and has a good reputation. Consider consulting with a lawyer or financial advisor for guidance.
- Limit the agent’s powers: If possible, limit the agent’s powers to specific areas, such as managing investments or paying bills. This can help prevent them from misusing the POA for personal gain.
- Monitor accounts and transactions: Regularly review your loved one’s financial accounts and transactions for any suspicious activity, such as large withdrawals or transfers to unfamiliar accounts.
- Stay involved: Stay involved in your loved one’s life and check in with them regularly. This can help prevent them from becoming isolated and vulnerable to scams.
- Consider legal safeguards: Depending on your loved one’s circumstances, it may be appropriate to establish legal safeguards, such as a living trust or guardianship, to protect their assets and ensure their wishes are carried out in the event of incapacity. Our experienced attorneys can advise you on what you can do to find justice for your loved one
By taking these steps, you can help protect your elderly loved one from POA scams and other forms of financial abuse.
What are the Common Tactics Used in POA Scams?
There are several tactics that perpetrators of power of attorney (POA) scams may use to take advantage of elderly or vulnerable individuals. Here are some common tactics:
- Befriending: The perpetrator may try to befriend the elderly person, often by offering to help them with their finances or household tasks. This can help build trust and make the person more likely to grant the perpetrator power of attorney.
- Urgency: The perpetrator may create a sense of urgency, such as by telling the person that they need to sign the POA document right away to avoid legal or financial consequences.
- Isolation: The perpetrator may try to isolate the person from family members or friends who might intervene or question the situation.
- False credentials: The perpetrator may claim to be a legal or financial professional or use fake credentials to appear more trustworthy.
- Emotional manipulation: The perpetrator may use emotional manipulation tactics, such as guilt or fear, to coerce the person into granting them power of attorney.
- Coercion: In some cases, the perpetrator may use physical or verbal coercion to force the person to sign the POA document.
It’s important to be aware of these tactics and to encourage elderly or vulnerable loved ones to seek advice from a trusted professional before granting someone power of attorney. Regularly monitoring financial accounts and transactions can also help detect any suspicious activity.
Call an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today!
Power of attorney (POA) scams are a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for elderly or vulnerable individuals. It’s important to be aware of the common tactics used by perpetrators and to take steps to protect loved ones from financial abuse.
At Kreizer Law, our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of elder financial abuse and holding perpetrators accountable. We understand the devastating impact that POA scams can have on individuals and their families, and we are committed to fighting for the justice that our clients deserve.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a power of attorney scam, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal process and seek the compensation and justice you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.