It’s a tragic story that is in the news too often. A woman's son was writing checks to himself and having his mother, who was declining mentally, sign them. She believed she was signing checks for the entire family and had no idea the checks were all written to her son. As it often happens in these cases, the abuse was perpetrated by a family member. It has been estimated that 90 percent of abusers are family members or other people the victim trusts.
Seniors are often the targets of unscrupulous activity. They often have a lifetime worth of savings or other assets they worked hard to build up to take them through their later years. Supposed friends and more often than not family members far too often try to take advantage of this.
The Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) was signed into law in October 2017. It is meant to combat elder abuse, which something legislation has been slow to reform, and improve responses to allegations of abuse.
There are scams everywhere, not just from self-appointed Nigerian princes with an email account. While the Nigerian Email Scam is well known, predators take advantage of the vulnerable through phone calls, mailings, emails, and in person. Approximately 10 percent of people over 65 are victims of elder abuse, and financial abuse is a leading issue. It’s a crime that has serious consequences on the physical and mental health of senior citizens in addition to their financial well-being.
When your phone rings, the last thing you expect is for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be on the other end. They address themselves and automatically you tense up. Why would the IRS be calling you?
If you grew up near your grandparents, you probably have very fond memories of spending time with them. But as they aged, they may have started experiencing health problems or cognitive issues. For example, Grandma may have some form of dementia that makes it impossible for her to take care of herself.
In this technological age, we often forget about snail mail, but scammers haven’t. Increasingly scammers are using traditional mail to target the elderly. This may be because many older people are not on social media and do not use email.
Our population is aging. As our families grow older it our lives get busier. Often we are working full time with kids in school and trying to care for our aging parents. This job gets tougher if we live across town or across the state.