Protect Seniors from Fraud
Rising incidents of scams targeting older adults present an enormous threat to seniors' security, both financially and emotionally. Senior fraud victims may suffer long-lasting trauma that often erodes their sense of trust and well-being, eldercare experts have noted.
Three crimes, in particular, are on the rise, experts say. They are identity theft, Medicaid/Medicare and medication fraud, and financial exploitation.
A recent MetLife study titled "The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse" revealed that the annual financial loss by victims of elder financial abuse is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion, a 12 percent increase since 2008. Details of these crimes, from National Association of Triads Director Ed Hutchison, include:
The World Privacy Forum revealed that a half million Americans have been victims of identity theft and health care fraud. The National White Collar Crimes Center puts the loss due to health care fraud at $100 billion or 10 percent of America's total health care expenditures.
What's more, many seniors take multiple prescription medications. Crimes of theft and fraud are being committed by those who break into a senior's home for the purpose of stealing those medications.
Older adults have a high likelihood of becoming the target of a scammer sooner or later, experts say. It might come in the form of a knock on the door, an offer to shingle the roof, a phone call from a friendly voice that guarantees big savings on medications, or an email that promises the biggest return ever on an investment.
Learn the three Financial Abuse Tactics (PDF 420k) that fraudsters use to deceive unsuspecting older adults.
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