Recent estimates put elder financial abuse in the U.S. at 8.68 million cases per year, with annual losses exceeding $113.7 billion. At least 10% of adults aged 65 and over will experience some form of elder abuse each year, including financial exploitation.
Elder financial abuse is defined as the theft of money, property, or belongings from seniors. It falls under two general categories: fraud committed by strangers (such as telemarketing or online scams) and financial exploitation by relatives and caregivers (such as getting an older person to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence).
You’ll find valuable content in our Winter issue of Website Compass to help seniors protect their financial interests at a time in their lives when finances are more important than ever. Resources include specific scams to watch out for, common signs that a scam is underway, who to call in case you become a victim, essential prevention practices, and what law enforcement is doing to help.
Much of this information can apply to people of any age who want to protect their assets from fraudsters. So as you read, think about how you can use these tips to protect not just seniors but yourself and everyone you care about.