California’s fine weather and social protections make it a destination for more and more people. Senior citizens are flocking to the Golden State in unprecedented numbers to live their golden years in comfort and safety. Regrettably, some challenges remain for these Californians.

Although physical and emotional abuse are always priorities for prevention, elder citizens and other at-risk populations face assaults on their finances as well as their health and dignity. People who live alone, reside with their families or spend their time in nursing homes or assisted living facilities may be victims of fraud or undue influence.

There are two main sources of financial abuse affecting seniors. The first is internal, coming from family members or caretakers helping themselves to the cruel advantages of a person’s compromised abilities. The second is external, often coming from organized schemes to bilk seniors out of their fortunes, benefits and property.

Many fraudulent scams are easy to perpetrate through mailings, phone calls and emails. Simple recognition of these scams can reduce people’s vulnerability to them. Workshops to inform seniors of these risks are on the rise across the Golden State to help people and their families protect what is rightly theirs.

If someone has fallen victim to a scam or other form of financial abuse, a lawsuit in civil court may be the only recourse to being made whole. Legal representation may help assess the need for a lawsuit and the likelihood of success in negotiation, bargaining or a trial in open court. No one should have to live with the consequences of financial abuse.