Financial exploitation has been called “the crime of the 21st century” with one study suggesting that older Americans lost at least $2.9 billion to financial exploitation in 20101
by a broad spectrum of perpetrators, including persons they know and trust, as well as strangers. Cognitive impairment diminishes the ability of some older adults to make financial decisions and to detect frauds and scams.
This epidemic is under the radar. The cases tend to be very complex and can be difficult to investigate and prosecute. Elders who lose their life savings usually have little or no
opportunity to regain what they have lost. Elder financial exploitation can result in the loss of the ability to live independently. It can also result in a decline in health, broken
trust, and fractured families.
Awareness is the first step. Planning ahead for financial wellbeing and the possibility of diminished financial capacity is critical. Reporting and early intervention are vital to
preventing loss and recovering loss when possible. Money Smart for Older Adults is designed to provide you with information and tips to help prevent common frauds,
scams and other types of elder financial exploitation in your community. Please share this information with others.