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Small Community Investment Can Protect Seniors Against Fraud

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
This report explores reasons seniors are disproportionately vulnerable to fraud and discusses ways to prevent and combat the victimization.
Reasons older persons are more vulnerable to fraud include the following: In general, the older people get, the more wealth they accumulate; older people are more likely to be isolated by illness, lack of mobility or loss of personal contacts with others in the community; and older people may be more likely to be misled by so-called sweepstakes and similar approaches or find it difficult to read the fine-print rules. The Community Fraud Prevention Safety Net trains people who visit often with older residents to recognize signs that fraud may be in the making. They learn effective ways to bring up the subject with the victim and how to help the victim put a stop to it through community resources ranging from law enforcement to social services. This approach requires modest coordination, minimal resources and in-service style training of only a few hours a year for those who work with seniors. Help is offered to victims but not forced. It aims at preserving, not restricting, seniors’ independence and resources for as long as possible. Tables, resources