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Monday, February 21, 2011

Be On the Lookout for Financial Fraud of the Elderly

It seems that calls to my office that paint a picture of financial fraud of the elderly are increasing. Apparently, the statistics show that 1/5th of Americans older than 65 have been the victim of some sort of financial swindle.  That's 7.3 million seniors!
Elder financial abuse is becoming the crime of the 21st century as the growing senior population is increasingly targeted. - Fred Joseph, President of the North American Securities Administrators Association
Unfortunately, because 1/3 of our population over 70 have some form of memory impairment, this makes them more vulnerable to financial fraud...which adds up to more than $2.6 billion dollars stolen per year, according to MetLife's Mature Market Institute.

Sandra Timmerman, director of this Institute says:
With the present state of the economy, older Americans are at a greater risk than ever of having their financial security threatened.
No kidding.  My experience is that no one is safe from this type of abuse - family members and caregivers are the abusers in 55% of reported cases!

How To Protect Your Loved Ones From Financial Fraud of the Elderly
Clinicians and geriatrics faculty members from the Baylor College of Medicine created this Clinician's Pocket Guide.  This guide suggests several questions for professionals to ask that can help identify financial fraud, including:

  • Who manages your money day-to-day?  How is that going?
  • Have you given a general durable power of attorney to another person?
  • Do you have a will? Has anyone asked you to change it?

Do you suspect that an elder you know may be falling prey to financial fraud or abuse?  If so, don't look the other way.  Place a call to an elder law attorney or your area's Adult Protective Services organization for information or to report abuse.

Want to consult an attorney about elder financial fraud or abuse?  Call (614) 453-5580 today.
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