Facts on Financial Abuse

Adult Protective Services (APS) at 800-451-5155 (24-Hour Hotline)

Instructional Materials Regarding:
SB 1018: Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act of 2005
Provided By
Adult Protective Services, County of Orange

Financial abuse of the elderly and dependent adult populations has been a long recognized and growing problem. Financial institutions are often the first to become aware of financial abuse to these populations, which is why the California Legislature felt it necessary to create Senate Bill 1018: Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act of 2005. Effective January 1, 2007, SB 1018 makes all financial institution employees "Mandated Reporters" of financial elder and dependent adult abuse. The instructional information below is meant to assist financial institutions in understanding and maintaining compliance with this new law.

woman with roses

An Explanation of Elder and Dependent Adult Financial Abuse

  • "An Elder" is defined in California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 15610.27 to mean any person residing in this state, 65 years of age or older.
  • "A Dependent Adult" is defined in WIC Section 15610.23 to mean any person residing in this state, between the ages of 18 and 64 years, who has physical or mental limitations that restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights including, but not limited to, persons who have physical or developmental disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have diminished because of age. A Dependent Adult also includes any person between the ages of 18 and 64 who is admitted as an inpatient to a 24-hour health facility as defined in Sections 1250, 1250.2, and 1250.3 of the Health and Safety Code.
  • "Elder and Dependent Adult Financial Abuse" is defined in WIC Section 15610.30 as the following: "Financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following: 1) Takes, secretes, appropriates, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult to a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both. 2) Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult to a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both."

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How to Recognize Potential Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse & Neglect that may occur in Financial Institutions

  • Misappropriation of income or assets.
  • Improper or fraudulent use of the Power of Attorney or Fiduciary Authority.
  • Obtaining money or property by undue influence, misrepresentation, or fraud.
  • Telemarketing and mail fraud.
  • Obtaining money or property by allure ("The Sweetheart Scam").

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The Following are Common "red flag" Indicators of Financial Abuse, that may occur at a Financial institution

  • The elder or dependent adult engages in bank activity that is unusual or deviates from the norm. The elder or dependent adult may withdraw large sums of money from his or her account in a secretive manner, or makes changes to the account by jointly adding stranger's names.
  • The elder or dependent adult brings a stranger into the bank to assist them in conducting their banking. The elder or dependent adult may appear frightened or worried. Sometimes the stranger will have recently taken up residence with the elder or dependent adult and gained their trust. The stranger may encourage the elder or dependent adult to withdraw large sums of money. The stranger may also speak for the elder or dependent adult, to prevent conversation between the bank employee and the elder or dependent adult.
  • The elder or dependent adult executes a Power of Attorney, but does not understand the consequences of their action, and appears confused about the matter.
  • The elder or dependent adult complains that their mail has gone missing or is no longer being delivered to their residence. Sometimes the elder or dependent adult may indicate that they are being evicted, or can't afford to pay their utility bills, despite the fact that he or she has adequate, ongoing income to do so.
  • A normally social, friendly elder or dependent adult begins to appear withdrawn or becomes fearful to engage in conversation with bank employees.

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Information on How the County Adult Protective Service Agency Investigates Reports of Known or Suspected Abuse & Neglect

  • Adult Protective Service (APS) agencies conduct investigations to determine the validity of the elder and dependent adult abuse reports it has accepted.
  • The investigations are typically conducted by APS social workers, who attempt an "in-person" or face-to-face contact with the person reported or determined to be in need of adult protective services.
  • If there is a report of an immediate life threat, imminent danger, or a crisis in an existing case, the APS worker will attempt to immediately make an in-person contact with the elder or dependent adult for purposes of intake or intervention.
  • The APS worker will also provide an immediate in-person response when a local law enforcement agency requests it.
  • There are certain circumstances when an in-person response is not required by an APS worker.

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woman on phoneInstructions on How to Report Known or Suspected Incidents of Abuse & Neglect

Mandated reporters or interested parties who are told about possible elder or dependent adult abuse, or who have knowledge of, or observe adult abuse, or reasonably suspect someone is the victim of abuse shall report the suspected abuse using the following two step procedure:

  1. Make a verbal report by telephone immediately or as soon as practically possible to the County of Orange, Adult Protective Services Hotline at:

    1-800-451-5155 Assistance is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. *If the abuse occurred in a long-term care facility contact the Ombudsman at 714-479-0107 or 800-231-4024 (crisis line).

  2. After making the telephone report, mail a written report within two working days using State Form SOC342 Financial Institutions Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Financial Abuse. Keep a copy for your file, and send the original to:

Social Services Agency
Adult Abuse Registry
P.O. Box 22006
Santa Ana, CA 92702-2006
Fax 714-825-3265

*If the abuse occurred in a long-term care facility please mail written report within two working days to: Orange County Council on Aging - Ombudsman, 1971 E. 4th St., Ste. 200, Santa Ana, CA 92705-3917.

*To report abuse which occurred outside of the County of Orange, please contact the respective Adult Protective Services office or local law enforcement. For county Adult Protective Services telephone listings, click here.

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Types of Information that would Assist the County Adult Protective Service Agency with its Investigation of the Report

  • Elder's or dependent adult's name, address, telephone number, age/date of birth, social security number.
  • Elder's or dependent adult's present location if different from their address.
  • Your name, address, telephone number, place of employment.
  • Incident information, including date and time of incident, place of incident.
  • Type of abuse being reported (financial, physical, self-neglect, etc.).
  • Suspected abuser's name, address, telephone number, height, weight, relation to elder or dependent adult, and any other identifying information.
  • Your observations, beliefs, and statements made by the elder or dependent adult if available.
  • Any potential danger the APS worker might encounter (animals, weapons, communicable diseases, etc.).
  • Family member or other person responsible for elder or dependent adult's care.
  • Other people believed to have knowledge of abuse.

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Links to Other Elder and Dependent Adult Financial Abuse Resources

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