Types of Elder Abuse

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1 SENIOR SELF DEFENSE Protect Yourself From All Types of Fraud and Abuse 1 Types of Elder Abuse Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse Verbal and Mental Abuse Financial Abuse Neglect Self-Neglect Isolation and Violations of Rights Institutional Abuse and Neglect Abduction Abandonment 2 1

2 Fraud Targeting Seniors 24 million persons/year are victims of fraud crimes Target: 65 and older (1 in 8 U.S.) Some environmental factors: Volatile stock markets Record low interest rates Advanced Computer Technologies Rising healthcare costs 3 The Crime - Financial Elder Abuse The Crime of Indignity The Crime of Financial Elder Abuse (W&I sect (a). Penal Code Sect. 368(d) California Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) Enables persons to engage attorneys to take up the cause of abused elderly persons and dependent adults Establishes civil remedy for physical abuse, neglect and fiduciary abuse Authorizes award of attorney s fees and costs and punitive damages under certain conditions Allows a cause of action to survive if the victim dies 4 2

3 Why Are Seniors Targeted? Easily intimidated to make hasty decisions Don t want to be rude; reluctant to question Need a better rate of return on their money Impressed with fancy credentials and titles Difficult to say no 5 Financial Predators Use Fear Tactics Instill fear senior will run out of money, become a burden on family Inspire senior to not trust family members concerning their personal finances Prey upon loneliness and isolation of widowed seniors 6 3

4 Common Scams Affinity Marketing and Fraud Taking advantage of mutual trust Targeting religious beliefs, cultural values Dangerous snow-ball effect Bait and Switch Schemes If it is too good to be true it probably is Last minute switching of paperwork or product Be careful of Bogus Credentials or Titles - Certified Senior etc. 7 Charity and Disaster Scams Con artists solicit contributions for a good cause Do not respond to unsolicited Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited , attached files may contain viruses. Make donations directly to known organizations Do not provide personal or financial information. 8 4

5 Distraction Burglary Never open the door to strangers Keep your doors, side yard doors and garage locked at all times Beware of the lost cat and need to use the phone approach 9 Sweepstakes and Lottery Winners Jamaican Lottery Scam Receive a letter, or phone call even though you never purchased a ticket Asked to transfer funds or send cashier's check to pay taxes or legal fees 10 5

6 Common Scams Foreign Letter Fraud The Nigerian Letter scam U.S. Mail, or phone scam Targeting your cash or your personal account information 11 Common Scams Free dinner seminars Free evaluation of living trusts There are no free lunches when it comes to high pressure sales tactics Never give out personal account information 12 6

7 Common Scams Grandparent Phone Scam Scammer may get personal information from Facebook or other social media Caller masquerades as your grandchild Says they are in trouble; need grandparent s help Don t tell my parents! Just send me $$ 13 Medicare Fraud = Identity Theft 14 7

8 How Medicare Fraud Works Doctor submits Medicare claims for services not provided e.g., Psychotherapy sessions Was the service necessary? Charges 50 min. for 5 min. session Doctor submits Medicare claims for services that are up-coded Eye surgeon who does cataract surgery yet charges for retinal transplant Medicare Fraud Check all of your medical charges (Medicare Summary Notice) Don t give your Medicare card number to anyone except your health care providers Treat your Medicare Card as your Health Insurance Credit Card! Many phone scams offering new Medicare card Medicare will not call you! 16 8

9 Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Suggests a 3 Step Approach Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 PROTECT DETECT REPORT 17 Step 1: PROTECT Your Medicare card is your healthcare card Protect it like you do your credit card = 18 9

10 Step 2: DETECT Read your Medicare Summary Notice as you would your credit card statement Your Medicare Summary Notice is a statement of what Medicare paid to providers who billed your Medicare Number Read it carefully Report suspicious charges 19 Step 3: Report Fraud Call the SMP Hot Line - (855) Or 1(800) MEDICARE ( ) Or call HICAP 1( ) We may need Description of the situation Name of provider involved Name(s) of Beneficiary involved Supporting Documentation Medicare Summary Notices, etc

11 Senior Self-Defense Don t invest until you complete the four C s Consider your options Compare the offer to others Consult with someone you trust Call the Department of Corporations (1-866-ASK-CORP) From the California State Bar 21 Senior Self-Defense Never meet with a salesperson alone in your home Don t be pressured into signing documents Ask how the salesperson is compensated Don t be a courtesy victim Check credentials Review information and ask questions 22 11

12 Tips from the Better Business Bureau Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call registry, call Never place your outgoing bill payments in an unsecured mailbox Be suspicious of telephone callers you don t know. Never pay money to win a prize or sweepstakes Read all pages before considering an offer Never give out credit card or bank account numbers to unknown callers 23 More tips Ask for information in writing from charities Be skeptical of high pressure or emotional requests and hang up Never wire money to strangers Never hire someone who just shows up at your door Get three estimates in writing for work to be done Make sure the company is licensed and insured 24 12

13 Long-Term Care Ombudsmen Mandated by state and federal law to visit Orange County s licensed nursing and residential care facilities for the elderly at least once a month and investigate any suspected abuse or neglect Address ALL complaints from relatively minor complaints about cold food to more serious complaints about short staffing and inadequate medical care 25 How to Contact an Ombudsman All licensed skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly are required by law to prominently display the Ombudsman poster listing our services and contact number: (714) (800) Statewide Ombudsman toll free 24-hour CRISIS line

14 Adult Protective Services Adult Protective Services (APS) accepts and investigates reports of abuse and neglect to elderly and dependent adults who live in private homes and apartments Important Contact Numbers California Department of Business Oversight Toll-Free Online Council on Aging Orange County (714) Report Medicare Fraud Toll free 1(855) Senior Medicare Patrol 28 14

15 Thank you for your time and attention 29 15

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