ELDERLY FRAUD AND ABUSE IN AMERICA: A National Concern

Kimberly Pratt
Executive Director
InfraGard National

United States Attorney William P. Barr recently stated that crimes against the elderly target some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Because of their stage in life, they don’t have the opportunity frequently to recover, and the losses are devastating to them.

Whether as the result of isolation, diminished cognition, financial insecurity, trusting too much, being ashamed to report being scammed or concerned about how relatives will react, serious concern for health or other causes, many of these crimes go unreported. As InfraGard members, the more we learn about elderly fraud and abuse, the better we are at protecting ourselves, our families and friends, and helping first responders and the FBI succeed in their efforts to counter this type of crime.

Resources for InfraGard Members

Seven resources have been selected for your convenience and review. They provide protection information from the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Better Business Bureau.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation

See attached “Fraud Target: Senior Citizens” describing how to protect yourself and your family, counterfeit prescription drugs, funeral and cemetery fraud, fraudulent “anti-aging” products and telemarketing fraud.

For more information, click here: www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes

Twenty-three types of scams are discussed.

The Department of Justice

The video below discusses scams and identity theft, looks at trends and gives tips and tools with a focus on the Federal Trade Commission’s Pass It On  Campaign:

https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/video/introducing-ftc-s-scams-and-identity-theft-older-adults-trends-tips-and-tools

Extent of elder abuse, causes and characteristics, addressing mistreatment, financial exploration and perpetrators:

https://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/elder-abuse/pages/welcome.aspx

Contains prosecutor video series, federal financial exploitation resources, rural and tribal resources, multidisciplinary guide and toolkit, webinars for elder abuse professionals, elder abuse statutes and elder justice resources by state: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice 

On April 9th, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT, join the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans for a free webinar highlighting the findings from its new report, Suspicious Activity Reports on Elder Financial Exploitation: Issues and Trends. Click here for more information: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/event/suspicious-activity-reports-elder-financial-exploitation-issues-and-trends 

The Better Business Bureau

https://bbb.org/scamtracker/us

The BBB tracks reported scams throughout the U.S.

If you become aware of elder fraud and/or abuse, you are right to be concerned. If you SEE SOMETHING, please SAY SOMETHING in a timely manner to law enforcement, security and/or your supervisor, and give the authorities the chance to make a difference.

This information will be updated at least annually and suggestions for change can be sent to InfraGard National Board Director Earl J. Motzer, Ph.D. at emotzer@infragardnational.org.