Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Guide for Monitoring Conservatorships

The National Center for State Courts has released a new guide for monitoring conservatorships. Implementation Guide for ModernizingConservatorship Monitoring: Basic Strategies and Technology Enhancements explains that

Originally, this implementation guide was intended to encourage state courts to adop ttechnologies and analytics that would make immediate impacts. But like many intentions,the NCSC team, working with pilot states,realized that most state courts do not have the capacity to develop and implement such broad-scale changes at this time. In fact, data collection efforts showed that most state courts still have a difficult time documenting the number of active conservatorship cases.So rather than create a guide that few courts could implement, the purpose of this report is to inform readers of the efforts and advancements under way in light of problems posed by conservatorships. Regardless of the current situation within a state, the proposed strategies can be adapted to assist all courts.The project team encourages movement toward reforms that, ultimately, will improve court accountability and enhance protections for those individuals subject to a conservatorship. First laying the ground work of stakeholder support and improved data collection, then building toward technology solutions.

The document explains terminology, makes a case for reform, reviews and recommends the "Minnesota Model," reviews the experiences of pilot sites and offers 7 steps for modernizing conservatorship monitoring.

 

July 16, 2019 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Other, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 28, 2019

Mark Your Calendars for Two New Webinars!

I received several notices recently about upcoming webinars, so I thought I'd let you know about them so you can register. Both happen to be on the same day, but luckily not at the same time. Block off the time on your calendar, register and plan to eat at your desk!

1.  NAPSA Research-to-Practice (R2P) Webinar on July 17, 2019 at 1:30 edt. Topic: The Role of Social Support in the Lives of Elder Abuse Victims. Register, click here.

2. National Center of Law & Elder Rights, on July 17, 2019 at n0on edt. Topic: Protecting Older Adults Against Abusive Telemarketing Scams. Register: click here.

June 28, 2019 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report on Unreported Abuse & Neglect at SNFs

The Office of Inspector General for Health & Human Services issued a report this month, Incidents of Potential Abuse and Neglect at Skilled Nursing Facilities Were Not Always Reported and Investigated.

Here's a summary of their findings

We determined that an estimated one in five high-risk hospital ER Medicare claims for treatment provided in calendar year 2016werethe result of potential abuse or neglect, including injury of unknown source, of beneficiaries residing in a SNF.We determined that SNFs failed to report many of these incidents to the Survey Agencies in accordance with applicable Federal requirements. We also determined that several Survey Agencies failed to report some findings of substantiated abuse to local law enforcement. Lastly, we determined that CMS does not require all incidents of potential abuse or neglect and related referrals made to law enforcement and other agencies to be recorded and tracked in the Automated Survey Processing Environment Complaints/Incidents Tracking System. Preventing, detecting, and combating elder abuse requires CMS, Survey Agencies, and SNFs to meet their responsibilities.

OIG's recommendations include

  • work with the Survey Agencies to improve training for staff of SNFs on how to identify and report incidents of potential abuse or neglect of Medicare beneficiaries,
  • clarify guidance to clearly define and provide examples of incidents of potential abuse or neglect,
  • require the Survey Agencies to record and track all incidents of potential abuse or neglect in SNFs and referrals made to local law enforcement and other agencies, and
  • monitor the Survey Agenciesreporting of findings of substantiated abuse to local law enforcement.

The OIG full report is available here.

June 28, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 24, 2019

10 Tips for Guardians

The National Center on Law & Elder Rights recently published 10 Tips for Guardians of Older Adults.  Here are the tips

  1. Maintain separate financial accounts...
  2.  Keep detailed records»Save receipts for everything you can, and write every expenditure or decision down....
  3. Only use the persons’ money and property for their benefit....
  4. File timely reports...
  5. Regularly talk with the person....
  6. Spend time together....
  7. Provide social contact....
  8. Remember the dignity in choice....
  9. Safeguard the person’s rights....
  10. Reassess the Need to Continue the Guardianship....

The explanations for the tips and additional resources are available here.

June 24, 2019 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

DOJ Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force

DOJ announced the creation of a multi-agency strike force to fight elder fraud. Justice Department Announces New Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. Law Enforcement Effort Will Coordinate Action Against Foreign Fraud Schemes that Target American Seniors announces

the establishment of the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force, a joint law enforcement effort that brings together the resources and expertise of the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for six federal districts, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other organizations. The Strike Force will focus on investigating and prosecuting individuals and entities associated with foreign-based fraud schemes that disproportionately affect American seniors. These include telemarketing, mass-mailing, and tech-support fraud schemes.

The Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force will be comprised of prosecutors and data analysts from the Consumer Protection Branch, prosecutors with six U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (Central District of California, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, Northern District of Georgia, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of Texas), FBI special agents, Postal Inspectors, and numerous other law enforcement personnel. The Strike Force will also collaborate with the Federal Trade Commission and industry partners, who have pledged to engage with the Department to help end the scourge of elder fraud. It will further benefit from the help of the Elder Justice Coordinators now assigned in every U.S. Attorney’s Office.

June 19, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 17, 2019

GAO Report on Elder Justice

The Government Accounting Office released a new report on Elder Justice.  Elder Justice: Goals and Outcome Measures Would Provide DOJ with Clear Direction and a Means to Assess Its Efforts explains the reason for this report

Why GAO Did This Study

Researchers estimate that as many as 1 in 10 older adults in the United States—age 60 or older—experience abuse each year. Elder abuse may involve physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse or neglect. It can occur by family, guardians, or caregivers as well as by strangers and international criminal enterprises, which operate schemes for monetary gain or to facilitate other criminal activities. According to media reports and congressional testimony, some older U.S. citizens who have traveled abroad have unwittingly participated in illicit activities, and in some cases, have been arrested in foreign countries.

EAPPA included a provision for GAO to review elder justice efforts in the federal criminal justice system. This report examines (1) the ways DOJ works to address crimes against older adults, and to what extent DOJ is planning for and assessing its efforts; and (2) how the Departments of State and Homeland Security address the arrest of older U.S. citizens abroad, including arrests involving international criminal enterprises. GAO reviewed agency policy documents, and interviewed agency officials, as well as a nongeneralizable sample of elder abuse stakeholders and state and local officials selected for their experience in this area.

Along with offering examples of scams and frauds targeting elders, the GAO report included a recommendation for DOJ "that DOJ develop and document elder justice goals and outcome measures to better guide its elder justice efforts."

The full report is available here.

 

 

June 17, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 7, 2019

Elder Justice Resources Hub from ACL

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) unveiled the Elder Justice Resources Hub which incorporates the work of several agencies, including NCEA (National Center on Elder Abuse),  NCLER, (National Center on Law & Elder Rights), NAMRS,(National Adult Maltreatment Resource Center),  NORC (National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center), PHA (Pension Help America), NRCWRP (National Resources Center on Women & Retirement Planning) and APS-TARC (APS Technical Assistance Resource Center) The website explains

No matter how old we are, justice requires that all people are equal and full members of our communities, and the safety and dignity of all its members are preserved, including older adults and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, we do not always live up to this ideal. Committed to developing systems and programs that encourage justice, prevent abuse, and provide protection and support to those in need, the Administration of Community Living (ACL) seeks to change how our society thinks of older people and those with disabilities and what we can do to enable their participation. Just like a stable building requires a strong set of support beams, we need a solid social structure so that older people and those with disabilities can live their lives to the fullest, participate in our communities, and live free from abuse and neglect.

Don't forget as well, the DOJ Elder Justice Initiative, which also has a lot of research and resources!

This website highlights some of ACL’s efforts to build public and professional understanding about elder abuse and strengthen the social supports needed to prevent it. Strong, stable communities with structures to support people of all ages and abilities not only ensure justice and dignity for older people and adults with disabilities, but also secure the wellbeing and quality of life for us all.

June 7, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Stan Lee-Another Victim of Elder Abuse?

Stan Lee may have created a superhero universe, but he had no superhero to protect him from alleged elder abuse, according to a recent article in the Washington Post. As Stan Lee’s ex-caregiver is arrested, last year’s videos provide an illuminating lens on his elder-abuse case explains that Mr. Lee's "adviser and confidant" had  been arrested and "appeared in [an Arizona court] on a charge of being a fugitive of justice,  ... accused of 'fleeing California charges of fiduciary elder abuse....'”   According to the article, the charges filed in California include "theft, embezzlement, forgery/fraud against an elder and false imprisonment of an elder."  One twist in this case is a video made by Mr. Lee some time ago in which he claimed he was not a victim of elder abuse.  Now there are claims that the video wasn't done of his own free will.  You can view the video in the article.

All I can say is stay tuned....

 

June 4, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Science of Being Susceptible To Scams

Marketplace recently ran a story about fascinating research on whether there is a correlation between age and susceptibility to scams.  Age of fraud: Are seniors more vulnerable to financial scams? opens with the story of one individual who fell victim to a "gift card" scam of almost $200,ooo. Think it can't happen to you? Here is where the science comes in.

[A researcher] and his colleagues have put a label on what they see as an all-too common condition: “age-associated financial vulnerability.”

“We are learning that there are changes in the aging brain, even in the absence of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative illnesses, that may render older adults vulnerable to financial exploitation.

The science is showing that older folks

ability to detect sketchy situations may decline. Or, we may become prone to seeing the upside of a risky deal and blow off the downside. Some people are more inclined to believe the last person they spoke to. Others may lose the ability to push back on a high-pressure predator. Researchers emphasize that this phenomenon goes way beyond changes in the brain.

“It also involves all of these other social and environmental factors like social isolation, like cultural factors and societal factors, like older adults having more wealth compared to younger generations,” said Marti DeLiema, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Still think it can't happen to you? The researchers are examining "age-related financial vulnerability[and]  are very interested in physical changes to the aging brain, the way eyesight and hearing can get less keen. In some cases, a new pattern of making mistakes with money may be a harbinger of cognitive bad things to come, the “first thing to go,” as it were"

Still think it can't happen to you? Read on.  The optimal age for money management is 53 years old, according to the article.  There is some advantage to age; the life experiences we acquire.  Now we all know, as the article reflects, that scams don't just target older persons.   There is no easy answer to the issue. How do you protect people from making bad decisions  or from falling for a scam?  The article references various state approaches and the federal Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. FINRA is also asking brokers to "encourage customers to list the name of a trusted person to contact if something signals “scam.” Banks have no such rule."

The remainder of the article focuses on the responses and need for more work. Several experts offer suggestions for responses. I thought this one response was poignant: "abuse of the elderly is, at its core, lack of social support. The cure is social support. It’s possible that the best way to help vulnerable loved ones is just to be there, to be present in their lives."

Think this can't happen to you? Think again. And read this article.

May 26, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Science, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Identity Theft Placemat & Guide

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released two items to help us in the fight against identity theft. The first is a bit unique-a placemat, "Identity protection crossword puzzle" which is described as an "interactive educational placemat is for meal sites, senior centers, and other places older adults gather and are a great way to share information at mealtime in groups of all sizes." The second is the Identity Protection Guide, Protect Your Identity: What Older Adults Should Know providing "steps to help you protect your personal information and explores several options to help you decide what’s right for your situation. The guide can be ordered separately and should be included with each Identity Theft Placemat."

May 8, 2019 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Data on Non-Fatal Cases of Violence vs. Older Adults

A few days ago the CDC issued a new report, Nonfatal Assaults and Homicides Among Adults Aged ≥60 Years — United States, 2002–2016.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the CDC notes that the violence vs. older adults hasn't gotten the same attention and research as other cohorts. So, "[u]sing data ... [the] CDC analyzed rates of nonfatal assaults and homicides against older adults during 2002–2016. Across the 15-year period, the nonfatal assault rate increased 75.4% (from 77.7 to 136.3 per 100,000) among men, and from 2007 to 2016, increased 35.4% (from 43.8 to 59.3) among women. From 2010 to 2016, the homicide rate increased among men by 7.1%, and a 19.3% increase was observed from 2013 to 2016 among men aged 60–69 years." (citations omitted)

Look at that data again.  "Nonfatal assaults [against older men] increased 75.4% (from 77.7 to 136.3 per 100,000) " with a 35.4% increase among women. "Growth in both the older adult population and the rates of violence against this group, especially among men, suggests an important need for violence prevention strategies " In my opinion, that is an understatement regarding the need for more research and prevention strategies.

The CDC discusses the limitations of their research and also offer that "[c]ollectively, these findings highlight the need to strengthen violence prevention among older adults. Unfortunately, few strategies have been rigorously evaluated." (citations omitted)  In particular one idea caught my eye:  "[i]ncorporating geriatric specialists in EDs might help link clinical care to service referrals."

This report is an important step, but we need more. The CDC report concludes "[v]iolence against older adults is an emerging and underreported public health problem. EDs might be promising settings to identify older adults at risk for violence and treat and support those already affected." (citations omitted).

 

April 8, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Florida AG Creates Senior Protection Team

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced last week the creation of the Senior Protection Team "an intra-agency group of experts working together to fight fraud and abuse. The team is comprised of leading members from the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Consumer Protection Division and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Seniors v. Crime and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will also actively assist the team with investigations and outreach efforts." The team is being led by Statewide Prosecutor, Nick Cox, a long-time advocate for the protection of elders from scams and frauds.

Kudos to General Moody!

March 18, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Florida AG Creates Senior Protection Team

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced last week the creation of the Senior Protection Team "an intra-agency group of experts working together to fight fraud and abuse. The team is comprised of leading members from the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Consumer Protection Division and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Seniors v. Crime and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will also actively assist the team with investigations and outreach efforts." The team is being led by Statewide Prosecutor, Nick Cox, a long-time advocate for the protection of elders from scams and frauds.

Kudos to General Moody!

March 18, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Check out the Updated Law Enforcement Guide EAGLE 2.0

EAGLE, the Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement, has been updated and the newest version is now available.  The email announcing the updates explains

EAGLE 2.0 has incorporated roll call videos developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Department of Justice updates and archived webinars.   EAGLE is both a systematic and streamlined tool for law enforcement to assess elder abuse, as defined by the statutes of each state.  Although EAGLE was designed for law enforcement and by law enforcement, EAGLE is for anyone who would like to learn more about the types of elder abuse and what can be done to build strong community supports to prevent future occurrences. 

The roll call videos are in six parts and based on real cases, "highlight[ing] the actions of responding officer that led to a resolution of the case."

This guide is an incredibly valuable resource. Be sure to check out the webpage!

 

March 14, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

New Report from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new report at the end of February, Suspicious Activity Reports on Elder Financial Exploitation: Issues and Trends.

Here is a summary of the report

Since 2013, financial institutions have reported to the federal government over 180,000 suspicious activities targeting older adults, involving a total of more than $6 billion. The reports provide unique data on these suspicious activities, which can enhance ongoing efforts to prevent elder financial exploitation and to punish wrongdoers.

This report presents the findings of a study of elder financial exploitation Suspicious Activity Reports (EFE SARs) filed with the federal government by financial institutions such as banks and money services businesses between 2013 and 2017. This is the first public analysis of EFE SAR filings since the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which receives and maintains the database of SARs, introduced electronic SAR filing with a designated category for “elder financial exploitation” in 2013. The findings provide an opportunity to better understand the complex problem of elder financial exploitation and to identify ways to improve prevention and response.

The full report is available here.

The key findings of the report provide some sobering data:

SAR filings on elder financial exploitation quadrupled from 2013 to 2017. In 2017, elder financial exploitation (EFE) SARs totaled 63,500. Based on recent prevalence studies, these 2017 SARs likely represent a tiny fraction of actual incidents of elder financial exploitation.

Money services businesses have filed an increasing share of EFE SARs.In 2016, money services business (MSB) filings surpassed depository institution (DI) filings. In 2017, MSB SARs comprised 58 percent of EFE SARs, compared to 15 percent in 2013.

Financial institutions reported a total of $1.7 billion in suspicious activities in 2017, including actual losses and attempts to steal the older adults’ funds

Nearly 80 percent of EFE SARs involved a monetary loss to older adults and/or filers (i.e. financial institutions).

In EFE SARs involving a loss to an older adult, the average amount lost was $34,200. In 7 percent of these EFE SARs, the loss exceeded $100,000.

When a filer lost money, the average loss per filer was $16,700.

One third of the individuals who lost money were ages 80 and older.

Adults ages 70 to 79 had the highest average monetary loss ($45,300).

Losses were greater when the older adult knew the suspect. The average loss per person was about $50,000 when the older adult knew the suspect and $17,000 when the suspect was a stranger.

Types of suspicious activity varied significantly by filer.When the filer was an MSB, 69 percent of EFE SARs described scams by strangers. DI filings, in contrast, involved an array of financial crimes, with 27 percent involving stranger scams.

More than half of EFE SARs involved a money transfer. The second-most common financial product used to move funds was a checking or savings account (44 percent).

Checking or savings accounts had the highest monetary losses. The average monetary loss to the older adult was $48,300 for EFE SARs involving a checking or savings account while the average loss was $32,800 for EFE SARs involving a money transfer.

The suspicious activity reported in an EFE SAR took place, on average, over a four-month period.

Fewer than one-third of EFE SARs indicated that the filer reported the suspicious activity to a local, state, or federal authority. Only one percent of MSB SARs stated that the MSB reported the suspicious activity in the SAR to a government entity such as adult protective services or law enforcement.

Read the entire report. The information is important.

Thanks to Julie Childs from the DOJ Elder Justice Initiative for alerting me to this new report.

March 13, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

When Do Lawyers Have to Report Suspected Elder Abuse-A Webinar

Mark your calendars for this important webinar.  The National Center for Law and Elder Rights is offering this webinar, Elder Abuse: Mandatory and Permissive Reporting For Lawyers, on April 3, 2019 from 2-3 edt.

Here is the info about the webinar

When working with older adults, lawyers may be faced with legal and ethical decisions about when and how to report suspected elder abuse. In making these decisions, lawyers must balance the ethical need to honor their client’s autonomy, with potential legal requirements to intervene. An understanding of mandatory and permissive reporting laws is essential for lawyers working in this field.

This webcast will introduce lawyers to the concept of mandatory and permissive reporting, and provide an overview of the analysis a lawyer should take when determining how to proceed in circumstances of suspected abuse. Participants will learn how to:

• Analyze reporting obligations

• Determine who is a mandatory reporter in their state

• Inform clients about mandatory reporting requirements

• Weigh the benefits and burdens of reporting

The webcast will build on previous NCLER trainings, including Legal Basics: Elder Abuse and Legal Basics: Signs of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation.

 

To register, click here.

March 12, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Legal Practice/Practice Management, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tool for Documenting Injuries from Elder Abuse

MedicalXPress ran a story about a New tool for documenting injuries may provide better evidence for elder abuse cases. which opens noting that "[a]n estimated 10 percent of older adults experience some form of abuse each year. However, the link between injuries and possible elder abuse may take months or years to establish and is often difficult to investigate due to poor documentation during prior medical visits."  To improve the process, Dr. Laura Mosqueda and her team have created "the Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool (Geri-IDT)."  The tool was a result of a study done by her team, the results of which were recently published in the Journal for General Internal Medicine, Developing the Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool (Geri-IDT) to Improve Documentation of Physical Findings in Injured Older Adults.

An excerpt of the abstract offers this insight

Key Results

Experts agreed that medical providers’ documentation of geriatric injuries is usually inadequate for investigating alleged elder abuse/neglect. They highlighted elements needed for forensic investigation: initial appearance before treatment is initiated, complete head-to-toe evaluation, documentation of all injuries (even minor ones), and documentation of pertinent negatives. Several noted the value of photographs to supplement written documentation. End users identified practical challenges to utilizing a tool, including the burden of additional or parallel documentation in a busy clinical setting, and how to integrate it into existing electronic medical records.

Conclusion

A practical tool to improve medical documentation of geriatric injuries for potential forensic use would be valuable. Practical challenges to utilization must be overcome.

 

February 18, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Conservator Financial Exploitation Background Briefs from Center for Elders & Courts

The Center for Elders & Courts has released 8 background briefs on financial exploitation by conservators. The introduction explains that "the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime funded the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), in partnership with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (ABA Commission), the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology (VTCfG) and the Minnesota Judicial Branch, to assess the scope of such exploitation and explore its impact on victims."  "The ... project collected information on conservator exploitation, as well as the laws and practices in place to prevent, detect and act on such exploitation."

The purpose of the briefs is to increase public knowledge about the issues, aimed at an audience that includes attorneys, policymakers, judges, court staff, and advocated. 

The 8 topics cover: 

Examples of Conservator Exploitation: An Overview

Conservator Exploitation in Minnesota

Detecting Exploitation by Conservators: Court Monitoring

Detecting Exploitation by Conservators: Systemic Approach

Court Actions Upon Detection of Exploitation

Innovative Programs That Address Financial Exploitation by Conservators

Data Quality Undermines Accountability in Conservatorship Cases

Supporting Victims of Conservator Exploitation

In addition there is a list of resources available here, Key Resources on Conservator Exploitation

 

January 2, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Twist on Grandparent Scam-Asking for Cash

The grandparent scam has been around for a while. According to the FTC, the bad guys have morphed the scam to make it harder  to catch.  New twist on popular 'grandparent scam': mail cash explains that "people 70 and older report mailing huge amounts of cash to people who pretended to be their grandchildren... [and] ...  – fully 25% of people 70 and over who reported to the FTC how they paid money told [the FTC] they sent cash." (citations omitted). The FTC noted that these grandparent scams are also called friends & family impostor scams.

How do the bad guys convince victims to send cash?  The blog post explains that "callers often give very specific instructions about how to send cash. Many people said they were told to divide the bills into envelopes and place them between the pages of a magazine. Then, according to reports, they were told to send them using various carriers, including UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service."  The post does give some advice:

  • Don’t act right away, no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Call that family member or friend, and make sure you use a phone number that you know is right. Or check it out with someone else in your circle, even if the caller told you to keep it a secret.
  • Be careful about what you post on social media. If your personal details are public, someone can use them to defraud you and people who care about you.

If you’ve mailed cash, report it right away to the Postal Service or whichever shipping company you used. Some people have been able to stop delivery by acting quickly and giving a tracking number. Also tell the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

BTW, the FTC website notes that the agency is closed because of the government shut down. Hopefully the bad guys aren't reading this post or checking out the FTC website.

January 1, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Rapid Response Conservatorship Project

The Rapid Response Conservatorship Project from the Center for Elders & the Courts is using technology to create "[a] modernized proactive court process that safeguards the as sets of those placed under a conservatorship." The website offers some information about the project: "NCSC will pilot the two-year project in two courts to develop and refine implementation strategies that can be adopted nationwide. The project will result in highly efficient court processes and has the potential to end the exploitation of conservatorship assets." The website describes 3 phases: planning, implementing and replicating. The project looks at 5 steps: appointing a conservator, using technology and machine learning  to establish a "financial profile" which in turn notifies courts of unusual activities which will then allow courts to take action with the result of "[i]ntegrating monitoring, alerts, and timely resolution into the court management process [which] will improve the administration of justice—and protect the assets of the vulnerable."

Cate Boyko is the project director

 

December 30, 2018 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink