How To Detect And Report Financial Abuse Of Octogenarians In Domestic Settings


Financial abuse involves coercing the person into business deals that impact finances. Octogenarians are at a increased risk of financial abuse especially in domestic situations. The octogenarians of today grew up in a time when helping someone in need was expected. This makes it easy for others to take advantage of them.

If you have an octogenarian in the family and you suspect financial abuse, here are tips to detect and report it.

Learn the Common Targets and Perpetrators

Octogenarians are at a risk for financial abuse if the meet the following criteria:

  • Widows and widowers
  • Those have limited mental and physical capacity
  • People with limited knowledge of finances
  • People who cannot speak good English. 

Research also shows the ability to distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy people deceases with age. Women are more prone to these crimes than men. According to statistics show 90% and greater of financial abuse cases are committed by family members who likely have a gambling problem drug addiction, or financial problems. Caregivers are responsible for 12% of the crimes.

Be Aware of Signs

It helps to know the signs of financial abuse in domestic situations.  Financial abuse can be hard to spot since the person knows of the dealings. Some signs of elderly financial abuse are:  

  • Disappearance of valuables
  • Excitement over an increase in Social Security
  • Changes in banks, lawyers, or power of attorney
  • Changes in wills and beneficiaries
  • Different signatures on documents and checks
  • A caregiver or family member that isolates the person from family and friends
  • Decrease in care
  • Large amounts of money disappearing from bank accounts or large credit card transactions
  • Defensiveness in the person when asked about finances  

Report It

Be certain to gather the proper evidence from bank statements, check stubs, and receipts . If you have confirmed that it is a case of financial abuse, the final step is to report the abuse.

  • Make a police report.
  • Alert their bank. Banks can legally report financial abuse of elderly.
  • Call the local district attorney's office and ask for someone who deals with elder financial abuse. You could get connected with a person in their office or directed to Adult Protective Services. Tell them everything you know.
  • Call the National Abuse Hotline in your state. You can also report by fax.
  • Contact an elderly advocacy group like AARP.

Financial abuse of octogenarians must be stopped as soon as possible. Never feel guilty about reporting anyone since the well-being of the person is often at stake. If you think you have a case and need to sue, a lawyer is your best chance for justice. To learn more, contact a company like Gearing, Rackner, Engel & McGrath, LLP with any questions or concerns you have.


10 December 2014

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