Elder Fraud

The Criminal District Attorney's Office can help you with its Elder Fraud Division

Susan D. Reed – Bexar County Criminal District Attorney is committed to protecting the elderly and
vigorously prosecuting those who would perpetrate scams and harm to our senior citizens.

Click here for helpful numbers.
Click here for helpful numbers

The Criminal District Attorney's Office realizes that along with the pleasures of growing older and having more leisure time, senior citizens are also vulnerable to certain crimes. Some criminals prey on seniors, who often have more assets, are more willing to trust others, and may be vulnerable because of loneliness or diminishing physical or mental faculties. Criminals may attempt to exploit that trust, steal a senior's money, or physically abuse or neglect them.

The Criminal District Attorney's Office is committed to fighting elder abuse and improving the quality of life for seniors. The Criminal District Attorney's Office has a staff specially trained and dedicated to prosecuting crimes against the elderly.

The most effective line of defense against elder abuse remains seniors themselves, followed by their families. By resisting high-pressure sales tactics, taking time to make decisions, and – most importantly – discussing personal matters with trusted friends and loved ones, seniors can often prevent many forms of elder abuse.

Please review this information and discuss it with others. If you are concerned that someone is attempting to victimize you or a senior you know, please contact the Adult Protective Services Hotline - toll free 800.252.5400, or your local law enforcement agency.

Tips On Elder Scam (TOES)

    Is Grandma Getting Scammed? Watch for these signs:

  • Banking activity that is inconsistent with the senior's habits, such as unusually large withdrawals or ATM use.
  • Financial statements sent to an unauthorized address.
  • Checks written out of their numerical order.
  • Signature that seems unusual or suspicious.
  • Abrupt or unexplained change in durable power of attorney.
  • Allegations of missing funds from a senior's account.
  • Sudden increase in credit-card activity or a flurry of bounced checks.

Assisted Living Facility Task Force (ALF)

WHOM TO CONTACT:

Nick Monreal
Chair, ALF Task Force

210.362.5236
www.AACOG.com External Page

Janice Brister
Regional Director, Dept. of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)

210.438.6300
www.dads.state.tx.us External Page

Joann Tobias-Molina
Regional Director, Adult Protective Services (APS)

210.304.3845

  • SIGNS OF Financial Abuse

    Financial abuse is the mismanagement of money, property or other assets belonging to a senior. Anyone who has access to your personal information, such as bank account numbers, credit cards, checkbooks, etc. can potentially steal from you. Be careful about whom you trust. You can take steps to protect yourself from financial abuse.

    Combating Home Repair Fraud: Preventing the Victimization of the Elderly PDF Document

    Protect yourself:

    • Cancel all credit cards you are not using.
    • Never keep the Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your ATM card in your wallet. If you need to write it down, be sure to keep it in a secure place.
    • Never give your credit or ATM cards to a family member or a friend to buy things for you. Whenever possible, give them cash or reimburse them with a check.
    • Try to balance your checkbook, or have your bank or a trusted family member or friend do it for you on a monthly basis. Immediately inform your bank or credit card companies of any activity that does not appear to be your own.
    • Report financial abuse to Adult Protective Services by calling 800.252.5400 or by calling your local police department.

    Warning Signs for Financial Abuse:

    • You detect unusual activity in your bank accounts – such as numerous withdrawals or attempts to withdraw a large sum of money.
    • A friend or caretaker asks you for a loan and tells you to keep it a secret. A need for secrecy can be a warning sign of an intent not to repay the loan.
    • You see your bills piling up when payment is the responsibility of your caretaker.
    • You see changes in your will or power of attorney though you are unable or unwilling to make such changes.
    • You lack amenities, such as clothing and grooming items, although you have the means to pay for these items.
  • PHysical Abuse equals "911"

    Physical abuse is the infliction of bodily injuries on an elder. Seniors or their loved ones should immediately report physical abuse to law enforcement by calling “911” or Adult Protective Services by calling 800.252.5400. Keep a list of emergency numbers you can call in the event that someone in your home physically abuses you. See below for a list of emergency numbers and a printable PDF.

    Warning Signs for Physical Abuse:

    • Obvious lacerations, abrasions, fractures, welts, bruises, discoloration, or swelling
    • Pain or tenderness on mere touch
    • Burns caused by cigarettes, ropes or other bonds
    • Detached retina, bleeding, or scalp wound
    • Elder becomes withdrawn or protective of the suspect
  • Emotional Abuse

    Emotional abuse can result from verbal assaults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, or isolation and can cause mental and emotional trauma. Verbally threatening and abusive treatment, and other acts of rage are not acceptable behavior, even if carried out by a son, daughter or family friend. You can report such psychological abuse to Adult Protective Services or to the police. Understand that such intimidating and hurtful conduct is not your fault.

    Warning Signs for Emotional Abuse:

    • Appears depressed and not himself/herself
    • Unusual mood changes and anger
    • Fear of being touched or approached by others
    • Seems withdrawn and unusually introverted or afraid
  • ELDER Neglect

    Neglect is the failure by a caregiver to provide the senior with basic needs. This includes food, shelter, medical assistance, personal hygiene products, heat or air conditioning. Such neglect should be reported. Adult children, especially unemployed or those with a criminal history, may neglect their elder parents. Be leery of giving an adult child with a history of emotional or criminal problems too much control over your money or your life.

    Self-neglect may occur as a person ages and their mental and physical faculties are diminishing. Typically there has not ever been a care-giver and children, if any, are absent or live out or town.

    Warning Signs for Neglect/Self-Neglect:

    • The elder feels isolated by a caretaker and is unable to speak freely or spend time with others
    • Personal hygiene begins to suffer, appropriate clothing begins to change
    • A caregiver has a history of violence, or alcohol or drug abuse
    • The senior shows signs of dehydration or malnutrition
    • The elder has sudden weight loss
    • The elder does not have necessities, including eyeglasses, dentures, prostheses, hearing aids, canes, walkers, or other critical items

Helpful Phone Numbers

Click here to download a printable PDF PDF Document

* Part of the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney's Office