Annual loss of elder financial abuse continues to grow

By Patricia Grace

Aging with Grace


The following is an excerpt from a March 3 Associated Press article and highlights how financial abuse is becoming more prolific and creative.

A federally funded study conducted for the National Institute of Justice in 2009 concluded that 5 percent of Americans 60 and older had been the victim of recent financial exploitation by a family member, while 6.5 percent were the target of a nonfamily member. The study, led by psychologist Ron Acierno of the Medical University of South Carolina, was based on input from 5,777 older adults.

A report last year by insurer MetLife Inc. estimated the annual loss by victims of elder financial abuse at $2.9 billion, compared with $2.6 billion in 2008.

"Elder financial abuse is an intolerable crime resulting in losses of human rights and dignity," MetLife said. "Yet it remains underreported, under-recognized and underprosecuted."

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