During National Consumer Protection Week, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced they are putting their attention on Financial Elder Abuse. This is a national epidemic, and our seniors are being exploited in a variety of ways.
For instance, In Georgia recently, there was a husband and wife who were indicted for allegedly defrauding an elderly veteran with dementia. They got about $182,000 from him before someone figured out what was happening. The wife of the couple was a former in-home caregiver, with access to records, checkbook and more. As the police look into this situation more fully, they estimate that more charges are coming because there is $500,000 missing.
A handyman convinced an elderly woman to give him power of attorney. He then took out a reverse mortgage on her home, which she almost lost before she got help. She had owned it since the 1950’s, so you can imagine how much money he took.
A California investment firm’s CEO and CFO were charged with 66 counts of felony elder abuse, securities fraud, and conspiracy for bilking older investors out of more than $2.3 million over an eight year period.
These cases are especially heart wrenching, and difficult to prosecute for the social services, criminial justice and consumer protection agencies. These practices also indicate that a family member needs to have a role in spotting and preventing this abuse. But often the victims do not have relatives that will help.
Because of these problems, the CFPB’s Office for Older Americans is developing guides for family members and others with legal authority to handle money for older relatives or friends. The guides will help people understand proper record keeping, and creating good frameworks. The guide will also make it easier to spot and respond to financial exploitation.
A guide is also being produced to help people who operate group living centers dedicated to serving older adults, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other organizations who currently oversee such things.
If you need this help, you can access information on this website: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/search?q=&selected_facets=audience_exact%3AOlder%20Americans
If you have a story to report, go here. https://help.consumerfinance.gov/app/tellyourstory https://help.consumerfinance.gov/app/tellyourstory