One disturbing thing that I have seen as an attorney and financial advisor is the frequency that older Americans are financially victimized by others. This comes in the form of strangers that prey on the elderly with fraudulent schemes and often friends and family that take advantage of their close relationship to seniors to take what is not theirs.
In Kansas, the Legislature enacted a law which makes mistreatment of dependent adults a felony. The Sedgwick County District Attorney has organized a group called the Financial Abuse Specialist Team that focuses solely on this problem.
The best thing we can do is be aware of the signs of elder abuse and the steps seniors can take to avoid being taken advantage of. Indicators of financial abuse include recent acquaintances that express interest in the person’s or a relative or caregiver who isolates the elder from family and friends.
If you suspect financial or any other abuse you should contact the Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services at 1-800-922-5330.