Elder Fraud | Federal Bureau of Investigation
Millions of elderly Americans fall prey to financial fraud or deception schemes, such as romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, to name a few.
Elder fraud is likely to become a growing problem as the elderly population grows. Criminals will gain their targets’ trust through computer, phone, and mail, and once successful, scammers will likely keep a scheme going because of the potential for significant financial gain.
What percentage of fraud victims are seniors?
According to our estimates, the most populous state in the country loses the most money to elder financial exploitation: California lost nearly $15.9 billion to elder financial exploitation, affecting nearly 8% of the elderly population, or about 685,000 cases in total. California has a population of 7.96 million people over the age of 60.
How many seniors are scammed each year?
According to the report, a total of 105,301 people over the age of 65 were scammed, with an average loss of $9,175, and nearly 2,000 older Americans lost more than $100,000. By far, the elderly were the most extorted, with just over 23,000 victims.
What is the percentage of older Americans are likely to fall victim to financial exploitation?
While there is no national system for tracking financial fraud among the elderly, studies show that “between 3.5 percent and 20% of adults over 65 years of age will become victims” of exploitation, losing an average of $25,000 to $120,000, according to the study.
How common is financial elder abuse?
According to the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), one out of every nine seniors has been abused, neglected, or exploited in the previous year, and one out of every twenty seniors has been abused, neglected, or exploited in the previous five years.
How do you outsmart a romance scammer?
How Can You Avoid Being Conned By A Romance Scammer?
- Check their images.
- Scan their profile for loopholes.
- Look for inconsistencies in their communication.
- Take things slowly.
- Don’t share financial details/passwords.
- Talk to someone you trust.
Why do fraudsters often target the elderly?
Seniors are frequently targeted by scammers because they are trusting and polite, as well as having financial savings, owning a home, and having good creditu2014all of which make them appealing to con artists.
Can you go to jail for financial exploitation?
However, acts of theft, embezzlement, forgery, and financial fraud are considered financial elder abuse under California criminal statutes, and a conviction of a felony related to elder financial abuse can result in a prison sentence of two to four years in prison and fines, as well as the forfeiture of the stolen assets.
How many older Americans have been victims of financial abuse?
The abuse of older Americans costs billions of dollars each year, with as many as 17% of Americans 65 and older reporting that they have been a victim of financial exploitation, and only one out of every 44 cases reaching the attention of protective services.
What constitutes financial abuse of the elderly?
(a) A person or entity commits u201cfinancial abuseu201d of an elder or dependent adult when it: (1) takes, hides, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful purpose or with the intent to defraud, or both.
What are signs of elder financial abuse?
Elder Financial Abuse Warning Signs
- Forgeries on legal documents or checks.
- Large bank withdrawals or transfers between accounts.
- Missing belongings or property.
- Mood changes (such as depression or anxiety).
- New changes to an elder’s will or power of attorney.
How do you prove financial elder abuse?
One or more of the following must be proven to prove a breach by the fiduciary or someone else:
- Increased or changed spending habits.
- Someone added to the senior’s financial accounts.
- Unpaid health care costs or no health care.
- Changes in the senior’s estate.
Who investigates elder financial abuse?
The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network also collects fraud reports for national metropolitan statistical areas, scam prevalence by region, and reports of fraud complaints from people aged 50 and up. National Institute of Justice site with research findings on elder financial abuse.