A Tale of Heartbreak: Who Can You Trust?

elder abuse 300x184 A Tale of Heartbreak:  Who Can You Trust?Sometimes, the last person you would expect is the first person to rob you blind.  A woman reported that her grandfather had passed away nearly 3 months ago and that not one month since his death, she had received a bill from his credit card company.  Of course, her grandfather was not even present to make any purchases so it left her wondering.  She disputed the charge with the credit card company and was getting nowhere.

Another month later, she started receiving calls from collections.  Likewise, she informed them that her grandfather was deceased, but the calls did not desist.  Looking for solutions to try and get these calls and bills from surfacing, she contacted the Better Business Bureau.

In talking to one of our agents, it occurred to her that her deceased grandfather’s caregiver had been taking advantage of her grandfather’s situation and helping herself to his money, including credit cards.  She received advice from the Better Business Bureau to report the situation to the Federal Trade Commission’s, identity theft hotline, as this is fraud and using someone else’s credit card is technically identity theft and needs to be reported.

It just goes to show that you cannot always trust the ones, who are in charge.  It’s a very sad situation, when an elderly, vulnerable person is entrusted to a family member, who violates that trust.  If you have any suspicion that anyone is a victim of this type of behavior, please contact the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).

The NCEA, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, has locations in various states.  For a contact in your state, please click on the link.  Their mission is to serve “as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment.”  For further information, their website is http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/About/NCEA/index.aspx.

The Better Business Bureau complements the NCEA’s efforts by educating the public on scams, charity and business reviews, buying tips, and much more, which affects the general population.  To learn more about our organization, please visit www.bbb.org.

While there is no stopping elder abuse from happening in the first place, there is some comfort in knowing that there are agencies that help with this problem.  We are happy to do what we can!


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/12392252@N03/2433387063/”>Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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About Kristal Heffley

Ad Review and Social Media Specialist of BBB serving Northern Indiana. Kristal spends a great deal of time learning, writing about, and educating the public on scams of the day. She also is quite the social-media enthusiast and community partner. You can follow her posts, i.e. BBB serving Northern Indiana on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and of course, our blog.