Search for Elder Law Attorneys
Tips for Preventing, Detecting, and Reporting Financial Abuse of the Elderly
As the economy worsens, incidences of elder financial abuse are reportedly on the rise. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to scams or to financial abuse by family members in need of money.
A recent study found that up to one million older Americans may be targeted yearly. Family members and caregivers are the culprits in 55 percent of cases, although financial losses are higher with investment fraud scams.
While it is impossible to guarantee that an elderly loved one is not the victim of financial abuse, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances. One option is to have more than one family member involved in caring for the loved one. You can also encourage the elder to get involved in community activities to ensure he or she has a wide range of support. Using direct deposit as much as possible is also helpful. And of course you should always screen caregivers carefully and verify references.
Financial abuse can be very difficult to detect. The following are some signs that a loved one may be the victim of this kind of abuse:
If you suspect someone of being financially abused, there are several actions you can take: