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Financial Exploitation of Elders

NCJ Number
White Paper Volume: 15 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2001 Pages: 31-33,44
Linda L. Saunders CFE
Date Published
July 2001
4 pages
This article discusses how to recognize elder financial abuse and how to identify and protect those who may be vulnerable.
Situations that may make someone vulnerable to financial exploitation include: lives alone, is physically or mentally impaired, must rely on friends, relatives, or private help. Indications that an elder may already have been exploited include: one or more changes of address after a long period of stability; change or de-listing of telephone number; changes in bank accounts; bills are delinquent; changes in patterns of visitation to church or old friends; caregivers are now handling finances; and caregiver/companion, neighbors, or relatives are overly accommodating. If elder financial abuse is suspected, a concerned party might interview the vulnerable elder apart from caregivers; visit numerous times to gain his or her trust and to provide emotional support; determine if the elder is receiving banking or bill-paying assistance and from whom; and find out if the elder has recently met "trusted friends" and if the acquaintanceship was through a "chance" meeting. Once a possible crime is identified, victims, witnesses, accountants, investigators, forensic experts, regulators, assisting agencies, and law enforcement must function as a team to bring successful closure to the exploitation case. Note