"Seventy-four-year-old Arthur Green spent years building his lakeside home.
He says recently he was persuaded to sign it over to his granddaughter and
was told he could live out his days there.
"All of a sudden she just like a … I don't know what … snap of the fingers,
she changed. She got money hungry."
His granddaughter tried to evict him and sell the property.
Legal Services Attorney
"Arthur was absolutely at risk of homelessness. He was also completely
impoverished because this land and house is the only thing of any value he
owned in the world."
Denis Culley, Green's lawyer, says financial exploitation of seniors is all too
common and often goes unreported.
A Consumer Reports' investigation finds theft and fraud by loved ones is on
"Caregivers, family members, neighbors, they can use all kinds of tactics to
raid their assets."
They can be as obvious as forging signatures on checks, begging for loans
that are never paid back, or abusing power of attorney.
"When you give power of attorney to somebody, it can give them unfettered
access to your accounts. Somebody who misuses those can do real damage.
And that's a real problem for the elderly."
Consumer Reports says to help prevent elder abuse -
>Have bank and investment statements sent to a person you trust to monitor
>Arrange for direct deposit and automatic bill pay.
>And consult a reputable elder law attorney for advice on wills and limiting
power of attorney.
Fortunately for Arthur, a legal services program for the elderly he consulted
obtained a court order voiding the granddaughter's deed - returning the
property to him. ."