Philadelphia Raises Awareness of Elder Financial Abuse
Philadelphia is getting serious about its elder financial abuse problem. As we noted in a recent blog post, the Philadelphia Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it would be hosting public awareness talks and meetings to combat the growing problem of elder financial abuse. That announcement was followed by the District Attorney for Philadelphia Larry Krasner's statement that he would be creating a special task unit targeting perpetrators of financial fraud against senior citizens.
The Typical Perpetrator of Elder Financial Abuse Is a Family Member
Sadly, the perpetrators and victims are often family. Nor was the DA himself immune. In fact, Krasner's own father-in-law nearly fell victim to a "grandparent scam." According to Krasner, a man called his father-in-law and said that his grandson had been wrongly imprisoned and that all he needed to get him out was $2,500. The story the caller told resonated with Krasner's father-in-law, who was about to give the man money when his wife intervened and shut it down.
Krasner recounted the disturbing story at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, where World Elder Abuse Awareness Day had been held. The event, hosted by the Philadelphia Financial Exploitation Prevention Task Force and headed by Joe Snyder, aimed to raise awareness of the increasing risk senior Americans face of falling prey to financial frauds of every possible description.
Some Common Elder Financial Abuse Frauds:
- Sweepstakes Scams
- Phony IRS agents
- Romance Scams
- Guardian Misconduct
- Cryptocurrency Offerings
While these scams are dangerous, Krasner was quick to point out that the most common abuser of elderly folks is in fact a younger relative, often a "soccer mom." Not exactly an arch criminal. But as Krasner detailed in his talk, these soccer moms tend to have power of attorney over their elderly relatives, and for a number of reasons that can involve financial pressures at home to shopping addictions, they begin exploiting their wealthy older relatives for their own benefit.