SCAMMING ELDERLY PEOPLE IN NEW JERSEY IS AN EPIDEMIC

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Attorney
Individuals who prey on the elderly are often professionals, sometimes making it difficult to detect the abuse. The elderly individual may not even have any idea the scam is taking place until it is too late, making it imperative that you always be aware and keep an eye out for signs of elder abuse. Some of the typical signs include:
• Valuable objects disappearing;
• Withdrawals of large amounts at one period of time, checks written to “cash”, rapidly declining bank account balances;
• A new “friend” that begins spending a lot of time with your elder loved one;
•  Large credit card transactions, sometimes from unfamiliar places;
• Different looking signature on checks;
• Additional name(s) being added to the elder individual’s bank account or a newly formed joint bank account;
• Hints of fear of the caregiver by the elder individual.
 If you suspect your elder loved one of being a victim of financial abuse, it is important you take immediate action to protect them. There are numerous actions you may take. Some of our recommendations are:
1. Report the abuse by notifying the County Adult Protective Services of the NJ Office of the Ombudsman for the Elderly. If serious financial crimes are involved, also notify your local police immediately.
2. Exploring legal option with an experienced NJ Elder Law Attorney. New Jersey provides the Chancery Court as an avenue to address Elder abuse. If you sense that a family member is abusing their role in protecting the elder individual or misusing a power of attorney, the Chancery Court will step in and remedy the situation.
3. Notify advocacy organization, such as the National Center on Elder Abuse. Such organizations offer guidance as to how you can investigate and seek justice for the elder abuse taking place. Depending on your state laws you may be able to seek restitution stemming from a breach of a fiduciary duty by the scam artist.
4. Attempt to secure a temporary restraining order against the abuser. Restraining orders must come from the Courts, so obtaining the assistance of a knowledgeable Elder Abuse Attorney to help you with this matter is recommended.
Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. is a qualified Elder Abuse and Exploitation Attorney who has represented clients throughout New Jersey. If you have any questions or concerns about Elder Financial Abuse, please do not hesitate to contact him today. Mr. Niemann can be reached at 855-376-5291 or by email at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. He looks forward to hearing from you.