Elder abuse can take shape in many forms. Whether it is physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, or financial abuse, millions of older Americans fall victim to elder abuse every year. As some of our most respected members of our communities, our seniors deserve better. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of West Virginia is committed to protecting one of our most cherished and valued resources, our seniors. Download the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative’s brochure here.
What Is the Impact of Elder Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation?
• Elder abuse triples the risk of premature death and causes unnecessary illness, injury, and suffering.
• Victims of elder abuse are four times more likely to be admitted to a nursing home and three times more likely to be admitted to a hospital.
• Financial exploitation causes large economic losses for businesses, families, elders, and government programs, and increases reliance on federal and state health care programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
• Older adults with cognitive incapacity suffer significantly greater economic losses than those without such incapacity.
• As a result of providing care for an older adult, some caregivers experience declines in their own physical and mental health.
Financial fraud is a growing trend amongst seniors. Whether by phone, by email, social media, or personal contact, the predators are looking for their next victim. Don’t send money if solicited before talking to a trusted family member or friend. And if you think you’ve been victimized, speak up. The majority of financial fraud victims choose not to report their victimization. Do not remain silent. You’re not alone. To report activity, call the Elder Fraud hotline at 1-855-4victim.
Facts about Elder Fraud
• You are not alone.
• 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day.
• Over 13% of older Americans become victims of financial fraud every year.
• Of those who are subject to a fraud attempt,25% will become a fraud victim.
• Older adults lose more than $3 billion annually.
Tips to ensure you and your financial future are safe
- Know that wiring money is like sending cash.
- Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money back for anyone.
- Know that fraudsters will pose on the internet as interested romantic partners.
- Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information.
- Don’t send money to someone you don’t know personally.
- Talk to your doctor before you buy health products or treatments.
- After a disaster, give only to established charities.
- Conduct background checks on a caregiver before hiring.
- Know that the federal government will never call you on the phone and ask for personal information.
- Have a plan in case a medical emergency arises.
For more information, go to elderjustice.gov.