Financial crimes against the elderly fall under two general categories : fraud committed by strangers, and financial exploitation by relatives and caregivers.
The Older Americans Act of 2006 defines elder financial abuse , or financial exploitation , as “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or
Two-thirds of financial crimes against the elderly are perpetrated by family, friends or other trusted individuals, Wells Fargo survey finds. Financial fraud against the elderly is most often perpetrated by those closest to the victims: family members, friends or other trusted individuals, according to a new survey.
These include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial/material exploitation, neglect , abandonment, and self-neglect . Physical abuse. Use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment.
However if the victim so chooses, and criminal charges are filed, financial elder abuse can lead to misdemeanor and felony charges. Misdemeanor convictions can lead to up to a year in jail , and a $1,000 fine. Felony convictions can result in up to four years in jail and fines up to $10,000.
Types of financial abuse Borrowing money and not giving it back. Stealing money or belongings. Taking pension payments or other benefit away from someone. Taking money as payment for coming to visit or spending time together. Forcing someone to sell their home or assets without consent. Tricking someone into bad investments.
The FTC also compiles fraud reports at their Consumer Sentinel Network for national metropolitan statistical areas; scam prevalence by region; reports of fraud complaints from persons age 50 and older. National Institute of Justice site with research findings on elder financial abuse .
To prove there was a breach by the fiduciary or someone else, one or more of the following must be proven: Extensive withdrawal from monetary accounts. Increased or changed spending habits. Someone added to the senior’s financial accounts. Unpaid health care costs or no health care. Changes in the senior’s estate.
Become a “trusted contact” to monitor bank account and brokerage activity. Sign up for a service such as EverSafe to track financial activity and notify an advocate of unusual withdrawals or spending. Set up direct deposit for checks so others don’t have to cash them.
Here are some steps to consider taking : Talk to the older person . Gather more information or evidence as to what is occurring. Contact the older person’s financial institution. Contact your local Adult Protective Services (APS) office. Contact law enforcement.
Property crimes accounted for 92% of victimiza- tions affecting persons or households headed by someone 65 or older and 88% of victimizations against persons or households headed by persons age 50-64. In comparison, violent crimes comprised more than half the victimiza- tions experienced by persons age 12-24.
60 or older