What is elder financial abuse?
Elder financial abuse or exploitation is defined in the Older Americans Act of 2006 as:
“The fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, or that results in depriving an older individual of rightful access to, or use of, benefits, resources, belongings, or assets.”
In other words, this type of abuse involves taking advantage of an older person for financial gain.
Elder financial abuse is big business. It’s estimated that older adults lose more than $36 billion every year to scams, fraud and exploitation.¹ It’s even more alarming that almost half of that money is lost due to tactics that – while deceptive in nature – are technically legal. With large numbers of Baby Boomers aging into retirement, experts predict the problem is only going to get worse.
The number of seniors of seniors in the U.S. who have experienced some form of financial abuse is estimated to be as high as 37 percent.² In other words, if you have three living grandparents or two older parents, there’s a good chance at least one of them has been a victim of financial abuse, and they may not even know it. Read more.