When Seniors Are Scammed, Their Caregivers Suffer Too
There are horrible people who take advantage of vulnerable seniors. Scams and financial fraud cost seniors in the United States an astonishing $36.5 billion per year, according to a study from True Link, which found that the amount scammed was 12 times higher than researchers previously thought.
The scammers are sneaky. Almost half of the $36.5 billion was taken from seniors using tactics that are immoral and unethical, but not technically illegal. Scammers can be individuals, businesses, or even, unfortunately, charities. These scammers use deliberately misleading language to fool seniors or apply pressure that seniors find hard to resist. Outright criminal fraud accounts for another $12.8 billion of the money that seniors lose each year to financial abuse.
A particularly heartbreaking finding of the study was that almost one million seniors in the United States have to skip meals because of money they lost to financial abusers.
Caregivers Are Affected Too
Seniors are not the only people who are hurt by scammers who target them for abuse. The caregivers of financially abused seniors also suffer financially from the abuse. As one expert described it, caregivers become “collateral victims” of elder financial abuse.
One study found that caregivers, surprisingly, suffered financial losses that were actually as much as the losses suffered by the seniors they were taking care of. That’s because when seniors are in a financial bind due to a scam, their caregivers end up spending more of their own money to help their loved ones get back on their feet. Often this is money the caregivers can’t afford, and which puts their retirement at risk.
Seniors who are victims of financial fraud are often victimized more than once. That puts additional financial pressure on both the seniors and their caregivers.
What You Can Do
If you are a caregiver, talk to your loved one about the danger of scammers and criminals who prey on the elderly. If you believe that your loved one was the victim of financial fraud, you may also have options in the legal system. The elder abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere provide aggressive legal representation for victimized seniors throughout the United States. Call us today at (800) 328-2630 to find out more.