Many a times, people refer to elderly abuse as the crime of the century. Over the years, many senior abuse scams have been noted but not registered. There are many reasons why such cases have been prevailing because the legislation alone cant get the job done. The seniors need to be proactive to such situations.
Sadly, most of the abusers are family members. There are many number of cases where aging loved one was being taken advantage of by a relative. All they do is sit back and allow themselves to be a victim of the crime as they dint want to create trouble for the relative. Maybe you’re one of those who do nothing, or perhaps you’re considering reporting this crime, but don’t know how to do it. If you think an elder in your life has been or is being abused, I can only urge you to speak up.
U.S. Rep Vern Buchanan, R-FL partnered with two Democratic House colleagues, Reps. Ted Deutch and Peter Welch , to introduce the“Seniors Fraud Prevention Act” – legislation to crack down on scams and fraud targeting older Americans. The main ideas of this is to make the consumers aware of scams and law and establish an effective complaint system to ensure that reports of fraud are quickly forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
If you suspect that this is happening to someone you care about, it is important to know what to do. Here are the steps you can take to report financial elder abuse. You need to name the elder who is being abused and also report their address along with the name and address of the suspected abuser. If you report abuse, the matter will likely be referred for investigation, and an experienced investigator will contact you. If you are afraid of the suspected abuser, you can remain anonymous.
If you have a senior you care about and want to be proactive of such abuse, here are some things you need to take care of:
- Ask your aging loved ones to allow you to be a co-signer on their bank and other accounts. Monitoring the account regularly will keep you updated as to where the money is going.
- Educate your aging loved ones about the new scams.
- Be sure that some trusted person in your parents’ lives has been appointed as their agent on the Durable Power of Attorney everyone needs to have in any estate planning no matter how modest their means.
New legislation is proposed to help stem the tide of elder financial abuse, but no law alone can stop the fraud. Seniors need to be educated about scams and reporting of fraud needs to be streamlined, but the message will get through even better when delivered by family members.
If you believe that this crime is taking place, there is no easy way to stop it. Reporting it takes the matter out of your hands and puts it on law enforcement to protect the elder. We cannot stop the horrible effects of elder abuse unless we are willing to speak out and report the facts.
If the suspected abuser is a family member, it may be painful to meet your duty, but we encourage you to go forward and report this crime for the sake of protecting our vulnerable elders. Some elders are threatened and intimidated by their abusers and are too frightened to report the problem themselves. Also go through free booklet by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help folks understand how to handle someone else’s money when they get appointed as a Power of Attorney.
Elderly Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic background, or education levels. Let’s speak up & take a stand! There is no virtue in tolerating toxic behavior.