Elder abuse is a growing problem that affects thousands of elderly individuals. Many times, abuse is well hidden and elders feel ashamed of being victimized, making it difficult to correct the situation. As the adult child, family member or friend of an elder, you can help prevent abuse by knowing the signs and what to do if abuse is suspected. The questions and answers below will help you identify elder abuse and prevent any further abuse.
What is elder abuse?
According to the Administration on Aging, elder abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation and despair.
Don’t fall victim to tax scams! Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Here are some of the recent 2014 tax scams the Internal Revenue Service wants you to be aware of:
(1) Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security Number (SSN) or other identifying information – without your permission – to commit fraud or other crimes. In many cases, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.
Financial fraud is one of the fastest growing forms of elder abuse. Financial elder abuse is when someone illegally or improperly uses a vulnerable senior’s money or other property. Many states now have laws that make elder financial abuse a crime and provide ways to help the senior and punish the scammer.
Elder financial abuse is tough to fight because it often goes unreported. Many elder victims are often too confused, fearful or embarrassed by the crime to report it. A recent study by Consumers Digest estimated that there are five million cases of this financial abuse in the United States each year, but law enforcement only learn about one in twenty-five cases.
You can protect yourself and your loved ones from financial elder abuse by familiarizing yourself with the most common scams and learning what to do if you suspect foul play.
Scammers target elders that they perceive to be vulnerable. It is often those who are isolated, lonely, physically or mentally disabled, unfamiliar with handling their own finances or have recently lost a spouse. Continue Reading Scam Alert! Financial Scams Targeting Seniors →