Monday, February 25, 2008

The OLder Generation is Ripe For Picking


The older population is extremely vulnerable to exploitation. The perception is out there that the older generations were and are savers, have built up large nest eggs that are ripe for the picking.

Thieves and fraud artists from many sectors of society are singling out older adults for scamming and various kinds of theft. People, who are often well known to the victims, take more than a million dollars from older homeowners every year in this country. The number of con artists is growing because they are working in an enlarging market place. Senior exploitation is on the rise in part because the numbers of older adults is soaring, and these crimes are often difficult to prosecute because most cases go unreported.

As the number of older adults grows, so does the rate of crime against them. According to Elder Abuse statistics, as many as 5 million annual cases of financial exploitation occur nationwide. Some of those who follow these crimes estimate that almost certainly financial exploitation runs into the billions every year. The White House Conference on Aging reported that only one of 100 cases is reported to police. The victims fear reprisal, judgment on their mental acuity and general embarrassment.

The most insidious fraud committed against elders is that which comes from family members.

It can be truly heartbreaking for a mother or father to be victimized by someone in his or her own family. These cases need special attention and understanding from financial institutions and those close to the victims. Being old is hard enough without being cheated as well.

They go unreported because once they are reported the elder could subject himself/herself to a forced guardianship, so is it better to have a son or daughter you know abuse you or to take your chances with a stranger that will make you a ward of the state take over your finances and make decisions that should be reserved for the family and the elder to make ? or even put you in a nursing home against your will such as happened to Esta Varon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For over four years my family has struggled with trying to get justice for my brother that suffered from elder abuse. We reported it and it has been a long drawn out delay, excuses, political,and good ole boy game playing. Some people in South Carolina need to get busy doing their jobs. I have a list that I could enlighten them if their is any confusion as to who those people are.