$2.9 Billion Is Lost Annually Due to Elder Financial Abuse and Exploitation

May 5, 2016

May Is Older Americans Month: Individuals 50 and Over Control More Than 70% Of the Nation’s Wealth

Corey Carlisle, Executive Director, American Bankers Association Foundation

(Washington, DC, Thursday, May 5, 2016) With more than 67% of bank deposits owned by individuals aged 50 and over, and with those individuals controlling more than 70% of the nation’s wealth, it is extremely important for older adults and their trusted caregivers, to recognize the warning signs of financial abuse and take simple steps to safeguard their personal information and protect themselves from financial fraud.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, $2.9 billion is lost annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation. Fraudsters prey on this growing population as they may be experiencing cognitive decline, limited mobility or other disabilities requiring them to relinquish their independence and rely more heavily on others for help.

Elder financial abuse is a crime that deprives older adults of their resources and ultimately their independence. Anyone who sees signs of theft, fraud, misuse of a person’s assets or credit, or use of undue influence to gain control of an older person’s money or property should be on the alert. Those are signs of possible exploitation.  Older Americans that may have disabilities or rely on others for help can be susceptible to scams and other fraud.   Advances in technology can also make it difficult for seniors to know who to trust and what’s safe.

Despite these threats, taking simple steps to safeguard personal information and being aware of warning signs can protect aging men and women from financial abuse.

Carlisle will be available to address the following topics:

  • How can you detect elder financial abuse?
  • What should you do if you suspect financial abuse has occurred?
  • What are the most common scams that target older Americans?
  • How can older Americans safeguard their personal information and protect themselves from financial abuse?
  • What role do banks play in preventing elder financial abuse?
  • What are some safe banking practices older Americans can use to prevent financial abuse?

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