What is Elder Financial Abuse?
Elder financial abuse is a crime that deprives senior citizens of their resources and ultimately their independence. Seniors are also often deliberately targeted by scams, fraud, and misleading marketing – often by otherwise legitimate businesses. This may include:
- fraudulent investment or insurance schemes
- fraudulent contracts (such as extended car or home warranties, which in reality cover nothing)
- unauthorized charges imposed by internet service providers
- worthless “sweepstakes” that elderly persons must pay in order to collect winnings
- fake pharmaceutical or diet/health products
- medical billing scams and unnecessary medical care
- predatory or unnecessary lending (e.g. reverse mortgages)
- charitable giving scams, including pressure to rewrite wills
- identity theft
- lottery scams
- work from home schemes or other ways to generate income
A 1996 study by AARP found that while individuals over 50 comprised 35% of the American population, they accounted for 57% of all fraud victims (AARP, 1996). Seniors’ level of vulnerability to this type of exploitation varies by the type of scam. For example, the AARP found that lottery fraud victims were more likely to be women over 70 living alone, with lower education, lower income, and less financial literacy, while victims of investment fraud were more likely to be men between the ages of 55 and 62 who were married, with higher incomes and greater financial literacy.
We will visit about:
- Fraud on the phone
- Fraud at the door
- Fraud through mail boxes
We look forward to visiting with you and answering any questions you may have.