Anyone is susceptible to fraud

It doesn’t matter if you are 60 or 85, retired or not. It doesn’t matter if you check on your aging parents every day, or trust the caregiver you’ve chosen. Anyone is susceptible to elder financial exploitation.

Read this story to see how one very smart and very capable citizen was no match for a perpetrator intent on fraud.
 
The Major
At a fit 85 years of age, Major Dickson easily looks 10 years younger. As a life-long military man, he had saved carefully over the years and had enough money and assets accumulated to take care of his family far into their futures.
 
The Major’s wife
When the Major’s wife became ill, he quickly realized she not only required daily attention, but also knew he could not do it alone.
 
He contacted a local home care agency to find a caregiver for his wife. He had a list of requirements, but the most important? Whomever he hired must be put through a rigorous screening before taking care of his wife.
 
The caregiver
Finally, the agency found the perfect match in Lisa. Lisa’s competence and expertise soon became very apparent. The Major was relieved to have such great help.

A strange discrepancy
The Major’s procedure for paying Lisa was easy: the care agency deducted her wages directly from the Major’s trust accounts. Lisa would record her hours on a triplicate time sheet, which the Major would review, sign, and then keep the top sheet. Lisa gave the remaining two sheets to the care agency.
 
However, when the Major reviewed his trust account and his billing information, things didn’t add up. He knew approximately how many hours Lisa worked. He knew what the agency charged him for Lisa’s time. But each time he multiplied these two numbers together, he still ended up with a figure that was about $200 less from what he’d actually been billed.
 
Puzzled, the Major started looking back at previous statements and found that in each pay period his charges were higher than he would expect for the care — often between $150 and $250 higher.
 
With more research, the Major figured out that after he signed the triplicate form, Lisa would change the remaining two sheets to augment her hours prior to turning in the time sheet. Looking back three years, the Major determined he had been defrauded approximately $40,000.
 
While the Major was concerned about his money, his greatest disappointment was the betrayal of trust.
 
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