Stopping Financial Abuse Against the Elderly


According to a new report released by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, "Elder financial abuse costs older Americans more then $2.6 billion per year and is most often perpetrated by family members and caregivers. The report, produced in conjunction with the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, states up to one million older Americans may be targeted yearly and that related costs like health care, social services, investigations, legal fees, prosecution, lost income and assets reach tens of millions of dollars annually. The study indicates that for each case of abuse reported, there are an estimated four or more that go unreported. The economic downturn may increase vulnerability. Family members and caregivers are the culprits in 55% of cases, although financial losses are higher with investment fraud scams."

The study also suggests how elder abuse can occur through the following ways:

  • Fraud (coupon, telemarketing, mail)
  • Repair and contracting scams
  • "Sweetheart scams"
  • False/fradulent advice from loan officers, stock brokers, insurance salespersons, accountants and bank officials
  • Illegal viatical settlements
  • Abuse of powers of attorney and guardianship
  • Identity theft
  • Internet "phishing"
  • Failure to fulfill contracted health care services, Medicare and Medicaid fraud
  • For a free copy of the study, Broken Trust: Elders, Family and Finances, and the accompanying tip sheets for family caregivers and older individuals, Helpful Hints: Preventing Elder Financial Abuse, and Since You Care guide: Preventing Elder Abuse call 203-221-6580.

    Email {A href="" target=_blank}, or download them from {A href="" target=_blank}

    You may also send a written request to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, 57 Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880.

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