CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Financial crimes against older Americans

2014-04-11T09:45:00Z 2014-04-11T17:54:35Z CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Financial crimes against older AmericansJoseph Pellicciotti Times Business Columnist nwitimes.com
April 11, 2014 9:45 am  • 

The U.S. Department of Justice maintains the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) community policing topics series on its website. One topic discussed is financial crimes against the elderly.

According to DOJ, financial crimes against the elderly include both fraud by strangers and financial crimes by relatives and caregivers.

The agency notes researchers agree that elder fraud is gravely underreported.

One way to decrease elder fraud, the DOJ reports, is to educate seniors on the warning signs and indicators of financial crimes.

The agency offers a non-inclusive list.

Some signs of the possibility of consumer fraud, the DOJ indicates, include:

  • Excessive number of magazine subscriptions
  • Checks and withdrawals that the elder cannot explain
  • Unsolicited phone calls from marketing companies offering fantastic opportunities

Some indicators of the possibility of relative and caregiver financial exploitation include:

  •  Instances in which a recent acquaintance expressed interest in (the) finances of the older person
  • A caregiver or relative has no means of support and is overly interested in the elder’s financial efforts
  • Checking account and credit card statements are sent to a relative or caregiver and are not accessible to the elder

For details and for access to additional publications/reports and websites on the topic of financial crimes against the elderly go to www.cops.usdoj.gov (type at the search engine: “Financial Crimes against the Elderly”).

Opinions are solely the writer's. Pellicciotti is an Indiana University Northwest faculty member and administrator. The article is for informational purposes only and not intended as specific advice. Consult your professional adviser before taking action. Author does not endorse/guarantee content within websites.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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