Raising awareness about the exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults.
It’s an unfortunate fact: senior citizens are common targets for individuals seeking to take advantage of them, especially when it comes to money. As the exploitation of senior citizens and vulnerable adults continues to rise, the New York State Office of Children and Financial Services (OCFS) has taken the lead in researching just how broad-reaching and costly this crime truly is.
In a 2016 press release, OCFS announced the results of its study of the impact of financial crimes against the elderly. The study, titled The New York State Cost of Financial Exploitation, represents the combined efforts of numerous state agencies seeking to raise awareness of elderly financial fraud and aims to aid in preventing continued exploitation.
According to OCFS, key findings in the study include:
- Financial exploitation totals an estimated $1.5 billion each year in stolen cash and property, benefits paid to victims, and investigative costs statewide.
- About 60 percent of the time, the perpetrator is an adult child or relative of the victim.
- Cash, checks, and debit cards are the most commonly stolen items.
- Benefit checks, deeds, real estate, retirement accounts, and vehicles are also targets.
- Nearly half of all victims have a physical impairment.
- About one-third of victims have mental impairment or dementia.
- Caucasian women in their 70s and 80s are the most common victims, but the crimes affect all cultures and ethnicities.
- 58 percent of victims do not fully understand that their money or valuables were stolen.
Unfortunately, according to OCFS, the overwhelming majority of financial exploitation cases are not reported to authorities.
If you believe that you or someone you love has been a victim of elder financial fraud involving a financial advisor or broker, it is important to know you have rights afforded you by financial industry regulations. Silver Law Group currently represents elder investors who have lost much of their life savings due to greed, unethical financial services, and disregard of elder abuse and exploitation laws.
Silver Law Group’s attorneys are frequent lecturers at retirement communities, town meetings, pension groups, and other places where we outline proactive measures to avoid being victims of elder investment fraud. We would be happy to speak to you about your situation, free of charge. We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you recover money. If you have questions about your legal rights, get in touch today.