Elder abuse involves various crimes, such as theft, assault or identity theft that strike victims of all ages. But
when the victim is 65 years old or older (or a disabled dependent adult), the criminal faces stiffer penalties.
Criminals often deliberately target seniors. Here are some of the factors:
- Many seniors have valuable assets, including homes or retirement savings
- Seniors who are concerned about running out of money are often open to claims of quick profits
- Some older people have trouble remembering things or suffer from mental confusion making them more vulnerable
- Seniors tend to have a traditional set of values and feel compelled to respond politely when faced with unsolicited proposals or charitable requests
- Older people are often afraid or embarrassed to report that they’ve been scammed
Here are some tips and sources of information to help you understand how to deal with this problem:
Never share your bank account numbers or other personal information with a stranger or someone who calls you on
the phone. Sign up for the National "Do not call
- Never allow strangers to come into your home.
Be careful of strangers who claim to represent a "deserving" organization. Check to see if the
charity is legitimate by using tools such as those found at the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP)
- Never assign power of attorney to people you don’t know very well.
- Never sign contracts that have any blank lines in them. Someone may later add clauses that will harm you.
- Always have a knowledgeable third party review any contract you sign, particularly a home loan.