Thursday, July 27, 2017
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Beware of Fake IRS Tax Bill Notices
Case Filed Against Michael McWilliams for Fraud against Military Veterans (PDF)
Adult Protective Services (APS) provides the following:
Note: APS does not investigate suspected abuse in long-term care (LTC) settings. For suspected abuse in LTC settings, contact the LTC Ombudsman at (661) 323-7884.
Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) Conservatorship
Public Guardian (Probate Conservatorship)
Outreach Programs: Volunteer Senior Outreach (VSOP) and Seniors Active, Giving and Engaged (SAGE)
Abuse can be an intentional act and/or a lack of knowledge in providing care to an elder (anyone 65 years or older) or dependent adult (anyone 18-64 years of age that is dependent upon another due to a disability or mental impairment).
Abuse is any act that constitutes taking advantage of a person for personal gain and/or not providing the proper care that the individual is dependent upon due to a disability or mental impairment. Generally, the basic categories or abuse are financial, physical, abandonment, isolation, neglect and self-neglect.
If the incident occurred in the community or in an individual home the report is made to Adult Protective Services at 868-1006 (24 hour Abuse Hotline) or please see Reporting Abuse tab. If the suspected abuse occurred in a Long Term Care Facility, the report is made to the Long Term Care Ombudsman at (661) 323-7884. If the incident appears to be an emergency, call 911.
Adult Protective Services or Long Term Care Ombudsman will investigate the suspected abuse by making contact with the suspected victim and alleged perpetrator. If the victim is willing to accept assistance, steps are taken to protect the individual and cross report criminal actions to Law Enforcement. If criminal action has occurred, then Law Enforcement completes the investigation for the purpose of prosecuting.
Yes, the victim has the right to refuse services if mentally competent. If not competent, measures are taken to protect the individual.
Generally, Adult Protective Services does not have the right to force the perpetrator out of the home without the permission of the victim and the involvement of Law Enforcement.
No, typically the victim will not report the abuse due to fear of retaliation or public exposure, embarrassment, humiliation, or potential loss of a relationship. Therefore, concerned parties, neighbors, family members and agencies mandated by law to report suspected abuse.
By regulations, Adult Protective Services has 10 days to respond unless it is considered an imminent danger requiring immediate attention or if Law Enforcement request immediate assistance with a victim.
No, nationally it has been reported that typically elder / dependent adult abuse involves a relationship with the victim and statistically 86.8% of all elder abuse crimes are committed by family members.
Yes, it is generally felt that elder abuse is increasing and will continue to increase as the older adult population grows in our nation. This is primarily due to the vulnerability of the aged, the unlikelihood of the crime being reported and the access to financial resources.
Report any suspected elder or dependent abuse. It only has to be suspected and not proven before reporting. Your identity as a reporting party will be kept confidential unless you choose to release that information. Elder Abuse will continue without your help by reporting suspected abuse.
How Scams Work: Most scammers will use trust and / or pressure to take immediate action. They target your money, your identity and your insurance. They will separate you from those you trust or encourage that you not share the information with anyone else.
How to Protect Yourself: Do not make a quick decision. Discuss with others before entering the transaction or sharing your information. Do your homework, verify the source, find accredited agencies to clarify any questions and or doubts. Seek the details. If you suspect that you or your loved one has already been scammed, contact Adult Protective Services.
Financial Abuse of Seniors (video)
Grandparent Scam (video)
How it Works: A supposed family member will contact you indicating that they are in trouble, usually in a foreign country and need money quick to get them out of trouble. They may say to you: “Please do not tell (other family members)”. Scammers will have information about the family member and will use this knowledge to gain trust / credibility (remember there is personal information on the internet that many can access from social media sites etc.). Scammers may represent themselves as an attorney or other official to direct where and how money should be sent to save the family member from jail etc.
How to Protect Yourself:
Speak with others to verify the status of the family member. Use independent verification to find the real agencies the Scammer is representing them as.
How it Works: The scammers will usually send an e-mail or letter, or they may use a phone call indicating that “You Won!” They may even send you a fake check counting on banks to honor the original deposit. It is not until the bank tries to clear it that you find out that the check is not real. Usually the scammers request you to pay the taxes on the prize.
How to Protect Yourself: Do not provide your bank account information.
The best solution is to request that they take the taxes directly out of your prize and send the rest. Ask your bank if what you have received is a valid check because you have some concerns prior to withdrawing any funds from the check.
How it Works: Someone is notifying you of a long lost relative who recently passed away and left you in their will or estate. They use similar tactics to those of Lottery scam usually wanting you to pay taxes or provide bank account information.
How to Protect Yourself: Verify the source independent of the caller.
Consult the IRS site for latest and older scams.
How it Works:
Individuals will come to your door claiming to be able to make repairs that are often not needed or overpriced. Scammer will want payment prior to working.
How to Protect Yourself:
Verify and check customer references. Seek multiple bids. Obtain written contract and verify Contractor license and check Better Business Bureau.
How it Works: Advisers at retirement centers use aggressive marketing tactics and promise to obtain veterans benefits for residents of independent-living communities. These "Aid and Attendance" benefits are limited to eligible seniors in assisted living facilities or home care only. Some services may illegally charge fees to help veterans obtain benefits.
In the News: The Kern County DA has filed a case against Michael McWilliams and two businesses that he owns (Ally Senior Care and Senior Veterans Benefit Advocates) for fraud against military veterans
How to Protect Yourself:
Apply directly to the county veterans services office for benefits. If you have been issued an overpayment letter by the VA within the last 30 days, contact your local county veterans services office to ask about getting a waiver based on financial hardship.
How it works: The scammers make an unsolicited phone call to you from what appears to be the SNAP (CalFresh) toll free information line (1-800-221-5689) requesting personal information offering assistance for filling out a SNAP application or other non-SNAP related services such as home security systems.
How to Protect Yourself:
Never provide personal information or your credit card number over the phone to unsolicited callers. If you suspect that you are receiving illegitimate calls from 1-800-221-5689 you may file a complaint with the FCC.
If you have already fallen victim to this or a similar scam, please visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ for more information on identity theft.
Kern County District Attorney Office: http://www.co.kern.ca.us/da/
Kern County Sheriff's Office: http://www.kernsheriff.org/
Arvin Police Department: http://arvin.org/government/police/
Bakersfield Police Department: http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/police/
Bear Valley Police Department: http://www.bvcsd.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&page_id=5035
California City Police Department: http://www.calcitypd.org/
Delano Police Department: http://www.cityofdelano.org/index.aspx?nid=105
Ridgecrest Police Department: http://ridgecrest-ca.gov/police
Shafter Police Department: http://www.shafter.com/157/Police-Department
Tehachapi Police Department: http://ca-tehachapicityhall.civicplus.com/index.aspx?nid=29
Department of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/
United States Postal Inspectors: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/
Attorney Generals Office: http://oag.ca.gov/
California Contractors State License Board: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
California Department of Consumer Affairs: https://thedoipage.wordpress.com/
Kern County Long Term Care Ombudsman: http://www.gbla.org/older-adults/
Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance: http://gbla.org/
Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/central-california-inland-empire/
Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Recovery: https://www.identitytheft.gov/
Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Resources: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
Consumer Reports: Preventing Elder Abuse: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-protection/preventing-elder-abuse
IF THERE ARE IMMEDIATE OR LIFE-THREATENING CONCERNS CONTACT 911 OR SPEAK DIRECTLY TO A WORKER
To report incidents of Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse that occurred in Kern County:
Toll Free 24 hours a day (800) 277-7866
Or (661) 868-1006
Or submit your concerns online: Public Reporting of Elder or Dependent Abuse
Please follow this link: Mandated Reporting
To report Incidents of abuse that occur in licensed facilities please contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman:
24 hour crisis line (800) 231-4024
Or (661) 323-7884
Mandated Reporting Forms
Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse
Word Version PDF Version
Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse
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