Elder Financial Abuse is on the Rise

According to the 2011 MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse, victims lose an estimated $2.9 billion dollars annually, up 12% from $2.6 billion in 2008. While strangers are responsible for 51% of the crimes, 34% are committed by family members, friends and neighbors.

The study also showed women are twice as likely as men to be taken advantage of and most victims are between the ages of 80 and 90.  The isolation some older adults live in makes them targets for these sort of abuses and also can make it difficult for anyone to discover that someone has influenced the victim to give over their authority or to discover missing funds.

Warning Signs

The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog association, offers some warning signs to watch for including:

Bills are left unpaid and notices of eviction or discontinued utilities arrive.

  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts.
  • Bank statements stop coming.
  • Suspicious signatures appear on checks or other documents.
  • The elder or the caregiver gives implausible explanations about financial matters.
  • Property goes missing.

Getting Legal Help

Experienced Elder Law Attorney Elga Goodman understands the challenges involved in protecting aging relatives and help you find resources and make a plan to help the people you love. Contact us today at today at 973-841-5111.

 

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