Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Group Says State Needs To Update Laws, Protect Elders From Fraud

Nort Carolina,USA

Fraud committed against the elderly is on the rise, and North Carolina needs to do more to protect its seniors, says a new study released Wednesday by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.

“The stories of fraud against the elderly are rampant and appalling,” says Mebane Rash, editor of the Center’s journal, North Carolina Insight.

“It is all the more tragic because often the fraud is carried out by relatives, family friends, and caregivers.”

In one mountain county, an elderly couple started sending money to a California televangelist who said he wanted to spread Christianity to the Middle East. Over time, the televangelist started visiting them at their home in Western North Carolina.

When the elderly man moved into a nursing home, the televangelist visited and asked the couple to sign over a general power of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and a real estate deed transfer reserving only a life estate for the couple.

The sheriff was called, the documents were shredded, the minister was chased out of the county, and Medicare fraud charges were filed. But the elderly man in the nursing home died, and his wife was deemed incompetent to testify, so the charges were dropped.
The minister came back just weeks after the man’s death, and the widow signed all of the documents again. This time, there was no one to protect her, no one to call the sheriff. The Scammers and Their Schemes

The Center says the financial exploitation of the elderly is carried out by two categories of perpetrators:

(1) strangers; and (2) relatives, family friends, and caregivers.

Abridged for EA read it all here=>>

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