Elder Financial Abuse
Though data is scarce on elder financial abuse, a conservative estimate from the 2010 Investor Protection Trust Elder Fraud Survey states that approximately 20 percent of Americans over 65 have been victims of financial fraud.
Often, family members are the perpetrators of abuse. Others like paid caregivers, scam artists and Internet scams target seniors as well. Seniors are commonly targeted because they often have significant assets (people over 50 control 70% of the nations wealth) and because caregivers are given access to private information like banking information.
Financial abuse is under investigated and under prosecuted. Many police departments are not able to handle these cases, lacking both in resources and expertise. Financial abuse often overlaps with neglect or physical abuse as well, sometimes leading to a complicated mix of law enforcement agencies and a lack of coordination.
Approximately 90% of surveyed seniors believe they can confidently handle their own money. That overconfidence, a sense that abusers have claim over their money, an unawareness that abuse has occurred, and shame or the worry of losing independence all contribute to the reluctance of reporting abuse.
The elderly population is growing exponentially as baby boomers grow older. Experts say the number of financial abuse incidents will only grow.
An analysis by Allianz Life found that seniors lose an average of $30,000 to fraud, and more than 10 percent of victims lost $100,000 or more. Such a huge financial loss can be devastating for the elderly.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder financial abuse, contact the law offices of Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice. Our nursing home negligence lawyers can help you hold an abuser accountable and get you back on your feet. Ph: 877-877-2228.