SCAM ALERT Home Care Fraud
Samuel, a 67 year old man, was scheduled for major surgery and would be bedridden for some time. His son, Gary, promised to help care for his father while he was recovering and to take care of Samuelís finances as well. He soon asked his father to sign some bank documents. Not wanting to upset Gary, who had a violent temper and a history of drug abuse, Samuel signed the documents. Two months later, when Samuelís daughter came to visit, she discovered her father alone and recovering poorly. There was little food in the house, Samuel had not been bathed nor his clothes changed in quite some time, and there was a pile of unpaid bills on the counter. Bank statements showed that Samuelís savings were gone and neighbors had not seen or heard from Gary in over two weeks.
TIPS FOR AVOIDING FRAUD
- Donít sign documents giving control of your finances to someone else unless you have a lawyer, advocate, or other trusted person review them.
- Donít accept personal care in return for transfer or assignments of your assets unless another trusted person acts as a witness to the transaction.
- Donít give up control of your property or assets unless you decide you cannot manage them yourself.
- Make sure that friends and relatives make consistent visits to check on your well-being.
- If you need to hire an outside caregiver, itís best to do a background check to make sure there is no history of alcohol/drug abuse or criminal activity.
- Always interview the private caregiver or agency representative in person, and ask a friend or relative to be present during the interview as well.
- Be very specific about your needs and develop a contract in writing between you and the caregiver detailing his/her duties as well as the expected, fair compensation for services provided.
- Donít allow anyone to keep details of your finances or property management from you.
- Donít allow yourself to be isolated from other people in your community, family, or network of friends and acquaintances. Ask for help when you need it.
To report an abusive situation in Riverside County, call:
Adult Protective Services at 1-800-491-7123
Public Guardian at (909)341-6440
Long Term Care Ombudsman at (909)686-4402
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