We know elder financial abuse it widespread and growing, but no one really has a handle on how much money is lost this way.
The best figure we have is $2.6 billion a year -- that's based on a report done in 2009 for MetLife. The report also said only one in six cases is ever reported, so this $2.6 billion dollar is conservative. And with the recent recession, fraud experts say the problem has only gotten worse.
Who's committing the crime? It can be a staff member at a care facility who's able to cozy up to a resident to get jewelry, money or power of attorney.
It can be family members who believe they're entitled to inheritance before their parents or grandparents pass away.
It could be a stranger. Con artists also prey on older people, because as a group they control a tremendous amount of this country's wealth.
Elder abuse is a community-wide problem that can only be solved when people get involved. It really will take a village to deal with this.
If your suspect elder abuse, report your concerns. Most cases of elder abuse go undetected. Don't assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation.
Contact your local adult protective services agency or prosecutor's office or police department. The people committing these crimes need to be caught and punished.
SOURCE: PineWS Wire
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