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Roseville Police detectives arrested an in-home care provider suspected of fraudulently using her client’s bank cards for financial gain.

Last month a 69-year-old Roseville woman contacted Roseville Police after finding unauthorized transactions on her debit and credit cards.  She told police that she had care providers assisting her at home while she recovered from surgery.

Roseville Police detectives investigated, and yesterday arrested the woman’s former care provider, Farrah Fawcett Lavulo, 34, of Sacramento.  Lavulo is suspected of using the victim’s bank cards to make unauthorized purchases and withdrawals totaling more than $1,000, obtaining cash, meals, and prepaid jail telephone credits for her incarcerated boyfriend.

Lavulo is being held in the Placer County Jail on suspicion of identity theft and defrauding an elder or dependent adult.  Her bail is set at $20,000.

In this case, the victim monitored her own financial statements, noticed the unauthorized transactions and promptly reported them to her bank and police.  However, if a loved one is incapacitated and no longer able to look out for his or her own safety and financial affairs, it’s important to have a trusted friend or family member keep a close eye on their health and the condition of their home, and check financial statements regularly for unpaid bills or unusual transactions.  If there’s disagreement within the family about the best person to handle an elder’s finances, there are state-licensed fiduciaries available who will handle financial affairs and provide a monthly report to the family.

While most in-home workers are honest and conscientious, for the protection of both clients and workers, it’s best to keep expensive jewelry, cash, credit cards and financial documents in a secure place while workers are in the residence.