How the Covid-19 Pandemic Has Increased the Risk of Elder Fraud

The elderly are at risk of financial abuse, and unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the rate of financial abuse. Abusers are known to look for individuals who are particularly vulnerable and factors like death, incapacity, health challenges, and diminished capacity can all lead a person to face such a situation. Data, however, shows that the pandemic has increased the risk of these factors. As a result, it’s critical to understand what financial abuse among the elderly can include as well as what you can do to prevent your elderly loved one from being harmed in this way.


Common Types of Financial Abuse


Some of the most common types of financial abuse to which elderly individuals often fall victim include the following:


  • Charging things utilizing the elderly’s individuals credit card without obtaining permission 
  • Forging the elderly individual’s signature on estate planning or financial documents
  • Perpetrating fraud in the form of false pretenses or trickery to gain that person’s finances 
  • Promising to provide lifelong care to the elderly individual in exchange for assets 
  • Stealing assets from the elderly individual’s possession 
  • Utilizing assets of the elderly person without obtaining their permission 


More Seniors Are Isolated During the Pandemic


Many of us during the pandemic have substantially less social contact than we previously did. Many elderly individuals cannot turn to technology as a way to cope with social distancing. As a result, elderly individuals who previously understood that they should limit phone interactions that could potentially lead to financial abuse are no longer doing so. Furthermore, a growing number of elderly individuals are utilizing online financial services but do not always take the appropriate measures to protect themselves. 


The elderly individual’s loved ones can greatly reduce the risk of financial abuse by remaining as connected as is possible with the loved one. Whether it’s using phone or email, direct communication is the best way to reduce the elderly loved one’s feelings of isolation. Loved ones should also remain up to date with the most recent types of financial abuse among elderly individuals. Research has found that individuals who are informed about scams are much less likely to end up falling victim to them. 


Recognizing Signs that a Person Is Vulnerable to Financial Abuse


Many warning signs exist that a person is at risk of financial abuse, but some of the most common signs include: 


  • Changes in how the elderly individual communicates with loved ones 
  • Increased isolation from loved ones
  • Missing financial records 
  • New relationships with caregivers or friends
  • New suspicions about someone the elderly individual previously trusted
  • Sudden changes in that individual’s spending behavior 
  • Unexplained financial transactions 


Speak with a Compassionate New York Elder Law Attorney


If a loved one has displayed any signs of conditions that would make them particularly likely to be harmed by any type of elder abuse, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact 

Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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