Worst elder financial exploitation comes from the heart

The worst elder financial exploitation does not come from international crime rings, but from the heart of the problem.

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The heart of the problem with elder financial exploitation does not come from international crime rings, despite the Justice Department's recent expansion of its Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. We applaud the Justice Department's efforts, but no matter what the expansion puts into better transnational law enforcement, the worst of elder financial exploitation will continue to come from domestic sources.

It is essential that foreign-based scammers be called to account. The theory presumably is that better law enforcement will deter criminals who steal millions every year from vulnerable elders. But according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, which has studied the problem extensively, most elder financial abuse comes from family members (54%). Its studies show that care workers are the second most frequent abusers of elders (31%). What this paragraph fails to mention is that the majority of elder financial abuse is actually perpetrated by family members, not foreign scammers. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, and better law enforcement is not going to be enough. We need to find ways to educate and protect elders from their own family members, who are often the most trusted people in their lives.

We must do better to protect our elderly citizens from abuse. No one should have to live in fear of harm, especially at the hands of someone they trust. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in nine seniors experience some form of abuse, but the problem is likely much greater since many cases go unreported. We must work to increase awareness of the issue and provide better support for victims. Together, we can make a difference and make our communities safer for everyone.

The expansion of the Transnational Strike Force will be a welcome addition in terms of more offices, prosecutors and a more aggressive pursuit of syndicates who exploit our elders. However, it appears that this will do nothing to stop the "close to home" problem that has already been extensively researched. Too much financial elder abuse will continue happening under the federal government's radar.

At AgingParents.com, we see firsthand the devastating effects that financial abuse can have on elders and their families. All too often, we hear stories of cognitively impaired elders who are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous tenants, property managers, or even family members. This type of abuse can have a devastating impact on an elder's financial security and quality of life, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help put a stop to it.

This is financial abuse that the Transnational Strike Force will never see. The exploiters are not big targets. No one reports it to law enforcement. The family may devise a strategy to stop the abuse, but some of the elder's money is surely gone before that is enacted.

This sort of elder abuse is far too common, and it needs to be stopped. The DOJ's Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force is a good step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to prosecute these abusers and protect our elderly loved ones.

The problem with reporting financial abuse

The Justice Department's expanded efforts to combat financial abuse are a step in the right direction, but they don't address the fact that most cases of abuse are never reported. According to the National Center on Aging, approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60 and over have experienced some form of elder abuse. Some estimates put the number of abused elders at 5 million per year. However, one study estimated that only 1 in 24 cases of abuse are actually reported to authorities. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Too often, elder abuse goes unnoticed and unpunished. The Justice Department's efforts are a good start, but more needs to be done to ensure that all cases of elder abuse are reported and dealt with appropriately.

It is essential that law enforcement agencies receive reports of abuse in order to take appropriate action. However, many cases of abuse go unreported, leaving victims without justice and abusers free to continue their actions. Sometimes, elders may be too ashamed to report abuse, especially if it was perpetrated by a family member or someone they trusted. However, it is important to remember that reporting abuse can help protect other potential victims and bring abusers to justice.

This is an example of a willing victim, one the Justice Department will never meet. I believe that this is due to the fact that the son has taken advantage of the situation and manipulated his mother into thinking that what he is doing is not abuse. It is important for people to be aware of the signs of abuse, so that they can protect themselves and their loved ones from becoming victims.

The True Link study on elder financial abuse found that the amount stolen from elders each year in the United States is $36.48 billion, more than 12 times what the federal government reports. There appears to be no recognition by the feds of credible research done outside the government, even from national, well-established organizations. This is a problem, because it means that the true extent of elder financial abuse in the United States is not being properly recognized or addressed. Elder financial abuse is a serious problem, and it is likely that there are many more cases like the one described in the paragraph above. The federal government needs to do more to recognize and address this problem.

Adult Protective Services: The Role of Adult Protective Services

I believe that APS funding is vital to protecting our elderly population from financial exploitation. I think it is important that APS have a strong presence in every state, and that mandated reporters are held to a high standard in terms of reporting elder abuse. I believe that the financial abuse of elders is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, and I think APS is a step in the right direction.

In real life, people often wait too long to take action or report something, resulting in no consequences. This is often due to hesitancy or failure to do what is required.

It is simply inexcusable for mandated reporters to fail to do their job of reporting elder abuse. In one case I am familiar with, a retired, high-profile, public figure had thousands of dollars disappearing from her bank account – an observation discovered by her partner. She could not see how it was happening. The bank where the account was located knew of this. When the partner confronted the bank and asked why no one had called her (she had Power of Attorney), and why no one at the bank (a mandated reporter of abuse) had reported the exploitation to APS, the answer was: “We didn’t want to embarrass her.” Such a response is completely unacceptable. Elder abuse is a serious matter, and mandated reporters must take their responsibility to report it seriously.

APS inaction leaves students in the dark

I am deeply troubled by the reports of financial abuse of elders that I have heard from families. It is heartbreaking to think that someone would take advantage of an elderly person, and it is even more upsetting to hear that many of these families have been brushed off by APS. I believe that every report of elder abuse should be taken seriously, and that those who have been exploited should receive the help and support they need. I will continue to advocate for stronger protections for elders, and for better support for those who have been victimized by financial abuse.

It's disappointing to see that the type of response from APS is consistent across the board. It's clear that they are not prioritizing the safety of elders when they refuse to report cases of financial abuse to law enforcement. This creates a dangerous cycle where perpetrators are not held accountable and elders are left vulnerable. It's time for APS to reevaluate their policies and put the safety of elders first.

I believe that financial abuse should be aggressively prosecuted by law enforcement, regardless of the size of the target. The law is clear on this matter in California, and when there is sufficient proof, prosecution should happen. I see this as the right thing to do, and I hope that more counties and law enforcement agencies will take this approach.

I believe that everyone deserves access to justice, regardless of their financial situation. That's why I'm glad that organizations like APS exist to help people who have been victimized by crime. I hope that more people will come forward to report crime, knowing that they will be supported and that their cases will be taken seriously.

I am concerned that the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force will not do enough to protect vulnerable elders from abuse. I fear that they will focus on international crime syndicates and conspirators, and leave individual elders at risk. I believe that more needs to be done to protect our most vulnerable citizens, and I hope that the Strike Force will take this issue more seriously.

Conclusion: You Need to Read This!

The federal government needs to do more to combat the problem of elder abuse and financial exploitation. According to a recent report, elder financial abuse and exploitation costs Americans more than $36 billion each year. The Justice Department can play a key role in addressing this problem by supporting efforts to track and prosecute those who commit these crimes. However, the government should also examine the research that has been conducted by national organizations to get a better understanding of the scope of the problem. Only by taking these steps can the government develop an effective strategy for combating elder abuse and financial exploitation.