4 out of 10 seniors are affected by financial abuse
The 2015 True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse found that seniors lose $36.48 billion each year to financial abuse. That’s more than 12 times what was previously reported! Even worse, 36.9% of seniors are affected by financial abuse – almost 4 out of 10.
Understand to help prevent fraud
This is a serious problem that could affect your older adult. By learning more about elder financial abuse and who is most at risk, you can help keep your senior from being taken advantage of.
3 main types of fraud
Financial exploitation causes $16.99 billion in annual losses. This includes things like hidden fees or subscriptions, fake dietary products, excessive gifts, or misleading financial advice. These tricks let scammers get a senior’s consent to take their money.
Criminal fraud accounts for $12.76 billion annually. That includes illegal activity like scams or identity theft.
Caregiver abuse adds up to $6.67 billion of losses each year. This type of fraud is where a trusted person uses their relationship with the senior to lie or steal. Many times this is a family member, but sometimes a paid helper, friend, lawyer, accountant, or financial manager.
Seniors most at risk
Don’t assume that those who have memory issues, are very old, or widows are at greatest risk. But actually, seniors who are young, urban, and college-educated lose more money.
Other risk factors:
- Seniors described as friendly lose four times more, maybe because they’re approachable and give the benefit of the doubt.
- Financially sophisticated seniors lose more, probably because they’re comfortable moving larger amounts of money around.
- Thrifty seniors lose five times more, possibly because they’re attracted by bargains.
Small things can lead to big problems
Did you know that a senior who loses just $20 in a year to exploitation could be expected to lose $2,000 a year to other types of fraud? Small losses show that the senior is vulnerable to bigger scams.
Also, someone who gets one telemarketing phone call per day is likely to have three times as much financial loss as someone who receives none or only occasional telemarketing calls.
This means it’s important it is to take any signs of vulnerability seriously, even if it seems like a little thing.
Don’t let scammers and liars take advantage of your senior and steal their hard-earned money. Get the facts and understand the true risk factors so you and your loved one will know how to spot a scam from a mile away.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Greater Hudson Bank