KXLY-TV in Spokane ran a report a few weeks ago about a 92-year-old Idaho man whose house was sold out from under him and nearly $50,000 stolen from his bank accounts. The woman responsible was a relative. (Press play on the video below to watch the story.)
Here in Washington, our state’s Adult Protective Services program received more than 13,000 reports of abuse, abandonment, neglect, self-neglect and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in 2006 alone. The program received more reports of alleged financial exploitation than any other kind of mistreatment.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will announce aggressive new proposals to protect our state’s vulnerable adults – the elderly and those with mental or physical disabilities – during a press conference Tuesday in Seattle. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and Department of Social and Health Services Assistant Secretary Kathy Leitch will also be there.
You can help. Learn to recognize the signs of financial abuse:
Unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
Missing checks or forged signatures on checks or documents.
Loans against equity in property or life insurance policies.
New "best friends" or the sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives.
Anyone suspecting the abuse of a vulnerable adult is urged to call the state’s toll-free phone number, 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276).