Are Elder Abuse Scams on the Rise?
Financial abuse and exploitation are tragic realities for many elderly Americans. Abusers can be relatives or caregivers, or they can be complete strangers who are never even seen face-to-face, preying on their victims via phone or online scams.
Recent reports indicate that elder abuse scams may be on the rise, with the National Council on Aging estimating that 1 in 9 elderly Americans experience abuse or neglect every year. Among the victims are those who are scammed out of money – a widespread problem that is only growing. A study conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute found that financial abuse and exploitation costs older adults almost $3 billion a year. This staggering sum is only compounded by the mental anguish and shame experienced by many of the victims.
To help combat the problem, some lawmakers are suggesting new protective legislation, such as a bill in Ohio that would protect elderly adults from losing their life savings or homes. President Obama has also allocated $25 million of the federal budget to prosecute and raise awareness of elder abuse and neglect.
In the meantime, those with elderly relatives or loved ones are encouraged to learn and watch for the warning signs of financial abuse, such as suspicious bank activity or missing property and belongings.
If you or an elderly family member has fallen victim to a scam or is suffering from financial abuse, contact the law firm of Garcia & Artigliere. Call 1-800-281-8515 or go online at www.lawgarcia.com today for a free case review.