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Threats Proliferate: Craigslist Fraud, Theft and Elder Abuse

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It’s tempting to think that we live in a safer world than we once did, but that’s not actually the truth. While there are more safeguards in place than ever before, unscrupulous individuals are finding new ways to get around them and take advantage of people of all ages. From theft to fraud to abuse, there’s an incredible potential for threats today, and it pays to know some of the newer forms and what to watch for.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a frighteningly common thing today. It’s most common within assisted living and long-term care facilities. Centers around the country have been fined and even faced shutdowns in the face of serious abuse, mistreatment and neglect of elderly patients entrusted to their care. Despite that, the incidence of such cases doesn’t seem to be diminishing.

For instance, the Guardian Angels Care Center in Elk River, Minnesota was recently the subject of a complaint and investigation into elder abuse. The victim’s name has not been released as the investigation is ongoing, but it appears to be a case of financial abuse, with a “large number of expenses since the victim moved into the Guardian Angels in Elk River”.

Family members of individuals within long-term care facilities are urged to keep a close eye on bank accounts for signs of financial abuse, but also on their loved one’s physical condition for signs of neglect or even physical abuse, both of which are frighteningly commonplace in these facilities today.

Real Estate Fraud

If you’re a homeowner, there’s a chance that you might have been tempted to rent out your home. It’s a great way to turn unused space into income. However, someone might have beaten you to the punch. It’s an increasingly normal thing to have happen, as one Elk River homeowner discovered not long ago. The woman in question decided to rent out her home in Elk River through a property management firm. However, when she did, she found that someone had already put out a Craigslist ad for her property, and there was an interested renter.

The fraudster was attempting to get the renter to wire them a security deposit and the first month’s rent to an address in Florida. The rental price was also much lower than what the owner intended. Potential renters should never wire money for deposits, and should always note the address form which the “owner” is communicating. An out of state address should be a red flag – always meet the person in question and never give money out without having a personal tour of the property and ensuring that the individual is actually the owner or their representative.

Tech Doesn’t Absolve Your Responsibility

Our world is increasingly technology driven. We have our smartphones at our sides all the time. We’re rarely far from a computer. We even rely on GPS devices to tell us where to go and how to get there. However, technology does not absolve us of responsibility, as one 19-year-old driver is now learning. Her GPS told her to turn left, despite the fact that the light was red. The driver took the turn, and crashed into the side of an oncoming car (who had the right of way). The GPS-inhibited driver is at fault, and could face a personal injury case from the injured driver.

From elder abuse to an over reliance on technology to scam artists attempting to rent properties they don’t own, there are threats everywhere today. Be wary, be observant, and most of all, know when to seek legal representation if you find yourself involved in any situation similar to these.