From a California statutory law perspective: "'Financial abuse' of an elder 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."
(Welfare & Instit. Code section 15610.30(a).)
California law also provides that: "A person or entity shall be deemed to have taken, secreted, appropriated, or retained property for a wrongful use if, among other things, the person or entity takes, secretes, appropriates or retains possession of property in bad faith.
(1) A person or entity shall be deemed to have acted in bad faith if the person or entity knew or should have known that the elder or dependent adult had the right to have the property transferred or made readily available to the elder or dependent adult or to his or her representative.
(2) For purposes of this section, a person or entity should have known of a right specified in paragraph (1) if, on the basis of the information received by the person or entity or the person or entity's authorized third party, or both, it is obvious to a reasonable person that the elder or dependent adult has a right specified in paragraph (1)."
(Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.30(b).)
Examples of conduct that may constitute financial elder abuse include, without limitation:
Forging the signature of an elderly person;
Getting an older person to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence;
Fraud, deception, trickery, false pretense, or dishonest acts or statements for financial gain; and
Scams, including telemarketing scams against the elderly.