Statistics indicate that elder financial abuse is taking a toll on our nation’s seniors. The MetLife Mature Market Institute conducted a survey that reveals that the combined instances of abuse result in losses of around $2.9 billion annually.
It’s challenging for researchers to determine exactly how widespread this abuse is because many of those victimized do not admit it to anyone.
Some people keep quiet about it because they don’t want anyone to know that they allowed themselves to be taken advantage of by an abuser. Others don’t recognize the fact that they have been exploited.
One of the saddest things about this problem is that the person who perpetrates the abuse is often an individual who is close to the victim. It can be a family member, a caregiver, a neighbor, someone claiming to be a friend, or one who has laid the trap by expressing a romantic interest.
A study was conducted in 2012 by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Fifty-six percent of the certified financial planners that were polled stated that they were aware of at least one client who had been financially abused, exploited, or deceived in some way.
While instances of elder financial abuse perpetrated by family members and others known to the victim are part of the equation, seniors are also targeted by certain types of predators. Scam artists can approach seniors over the phone, in person, and through the Internet.
Identity theft is another problem, and seniors with solid financial profiles are the ideal prey.
All the above is a bit disconcerting, but there are things that can be done from a legal perspective to protect yourself. If you are interested in discussing the matter with a licensed professional contact our office to set up a free consultation.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday