The Ledger: Thwarting elder financial abuse

Elder financial abuse robs older Americans of billions of dollars in money, property and other assets every year. As those safeguarding their customers’ finances, community bankers are key watchdogs for monitoring and preventing this abuse.

Elder financial abuse infographic

1: Consumer Reports, September 2015 2: New York State Office of Children and Family Services 3: Oregon Department of Human Services, September 2014 4: National Center on Elder Abuse

Click to enlarge

 

By the numbers: Elder financial abuse

 5%

of seniors become victims of financial abuse. Some estimates go as high as 20%.1

 

1 in 24

cases of financial elder abuse are reported2

 

$3 billion to $36.5 billion

The amount lost by older Americans to financial abuse each year1

 

 

What does elder financial abuse look like?3

  • Stealing money – 48%
  • Medication theft – 10%
  • Unauthorized use of debit or credit cards – 10%
  • Personal property, real estate or rent – 14%
  • Phone or other scam – 8%
  • Other – 10%

 

Who are the perpetrators?3

Family members – 47%

Acquaintances – 22%

Non-family caregivers – 14%

Other (scams, etc.) – 17%

 

The signs of financial elder abuse4

  • Sudden changes in banking behavior or to financial documents
  • Unexplained disappearance or transfer of funds or assets
  • Using unnecessary bank products and services
  • Poor financial decision-making