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Financial Elder Abuse

By HERWriter
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According to AARP, more than $2.9 billion is stolen and financially siphoned from the elderly every year. Also, more than 60 percent of all elder abuse is financial.

Elder financial abuse can be devastating, and it can wipe out a senior’s bank accounts and financial assets. Also, many cases of financial elder abuse go unreported due to embarrassment.

According to a recent Metlife Mature Market Institute study, ʺElderly women are more than twice as likely to be victims of financial abuse than men.ʺ Also, most victims of financial elder abuse live alone, and are between 80 and 89 years of age.

The majority of the perpetrators of elderly financial abuse are men who are initial strangers to the elderly. However, neighbors, friends and even family also commit the financial abuse.

Here are some tips to prevent financial elder abuse:
• Eliminate unwanted calls and solicitations by telemarketers
• Add the senior’s phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry at 1.888.382.1222 or https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx
• Screen all calls with an answering machine and Caller ID
• Hang up on any unsolicited calls
• Monitor important financial matters. Review bank statements and cancelled checks.
• Organize financial legal documents. Make sure a will and durable power of attorney documents are in order. These two documents assure the financial distribution and wishes of the senior’s estate by a trusted loved one. Recently, the state of Illinois passed a new law regarding power of attorney and financial elder abuse.

According to the WMAQ-TV in Chicago, a new elder abuse law took effect July 1, 2011. This law shields the elderly against the abuse of power of attorney. The NBC affiliate stated, ʺNew power of attorney agents must now keep financial records and are subject to having their agency revoked by the court or pay fines should they abuse their responsibility to the principal.ʺ

If you believe your loved one has been a victim of financial abuse, there are resources available to help (see list on page 2). If your loved one is in immediate danger, contact the local police department immediately.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Yes, the trusted are usually the offenders unfortunately:( However the government and banks need to get on the ball with the technology and protocols which make them complacent in these so called transactions. She was failed by us for mutually trusting him, but he should be held accountable by existing laws when there is evidence to support this claim.

July 11, 2011 - 9:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

Law enforcement refuses to do anything with my Mother in law who had 300,000( All of her reverse mortgage, credit cards opened ,and a car co-signed) They said their was not enough to prove criminal intent...they have tons, statements that were created with bank logo by abuser, transcripts where he admits to the spending without her knowledge, or even counterfiet check deposited into her account!!! The are so lame and incompetent and they should be ashamed of themselves for failing to pursue justice for her!!

July 11, 2011 - 7:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

The biggest problem you see over and over again, is that the elderly trust the wrong people with their money. You cant wait until the person is in their 70's or 80's to talk about protecting their money. It is a very hard conversation to have, but extremely important.
And these commercials on tv dont help any either, the ones for reverse mortgages you never have to pay back, or the ones to get life insurance so your loved ones wont have to worry how to get money to pay the funeral arrangements. Most of these just bilk the elderly out of money, plain and simple and then when they really need the money to cover their care, there isnt any.

July 11, 2011 - 8:04pm
EmpowHER Guest

I didn't realize women were so much more likely to be victims of Financial Elder Abuse. I also found out that institutional FEA, as practice by large financial companies and insurance conglomerates, is also becoming rampant: http://old-mutual-financial-network.info/

July 6, 2011 - 9:34am
EmpowHER Guest

I added my mother's number to the Do not Call list, thanks to your link.

The following link will help reduce junk mail, my mother gets all kinds of offers in the mail she doesnt need.

July 5, 2011 - 4:46pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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