Elder financial exploitation and elder fraud are rising at an alarming rate as they continue to be serious crimes in the United States. With no signs of dissipating, it is just a matter of time before an incident happens in your customer base, if it has not happened already.
While each state defines elder financial exploitation a bit differently, in general it is when someone illegally or improperly uses or steals a vulnerable senior's or disabled person’s money or property. These crimes can result is significant loss of financial resources for the victims and often greatly impact their quality of life.
An increase in financial crime and fraud against the elderly is expected to continue to climb as the baby boom population (those born before 1964) age. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) this heartless crime is most likely under-reported due to the victims’ fear, shame and embarrassment. NCOA estimates the cost of elder financial abuse to older Americans up to $36.5 billion annually.
A recent American Bankers Association Foundation research study (the ABA study) found that older Americans hold 70% of the deposited wealth in the United States. What’s now being referred to as the “Age Wave”, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day until 2030, creating an even larger pool of potential victims for fraudsters and scammers. This leaves many seniors in a financial nightmare during the sunset of their lives; some even left destitute. These crimes take an emotional toll on the victims as well, with victims often becoming depressed with intense feelings of shame and fear.