The Tennessee General Assembly created a task force to investigate elder abuse, and the findings reveal two thirds of the victims have been women and 60% of the abusers were men between the ages of 30 and 59. Tantamount to greed, the abusers appear hungry for cash and attempt to pry into their inheritance before their loved one is deceased. About 90 percent of the abusers are family members, either children or grandchildren, followed by caregivers and professional con artists who have targeted older adults. You can read more about the report from Nashville, Tennessee’s News Channel 5.
Beverly Patnaik with the Council on Aging reported that victims don’t report the crimes, usually because “They’re ashamed that their family members are behaving that way towards them. They’re in denial. They blame themselves. Their fear of the abuser. Retaliation. Being forced to leave their home. Fear of losing their independence. ‘Mom, if you don’t give me your social security check, I’m going to put you in a nursing home.’”
Seniors make especially easy targets in that they offer a lifetime of assets and tend to be trusting by nature. Even after the fraud they are often too embarrassed to admit that they have fallen victim to a scam or feel conflicted over wanting to protect the guilty party. Sometimes the senior is so isolated that they just cannot bring themselves to speak out. Law enforcement and government officials estimate that only 1 in 25 cases of financial fraud even get reported.
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