Financial fraud is one of the fastest growing forms of abuse targeting seniors and adults with disabilities. According to the National Adult Protective Services Association, 1 in 20 older adults reports some form of financial mistreatment. However, it occurs much more frequently than it is reported. In fact, some studies estimate that only 1 in 44 cases of financial exploitation are reported to law enforcement officials.
There are two broad categories of financial abuse. Financial exploitation is perpetrated by someone who is known to the individual, such as a family member, caregiver or other trusted person who uses their position of trust to gain access to the person’s financial resources. The second type of financial abuse relates to financial scams designed to take advantage of the elderly and adults with disabilities, such as home improvement and lottery schemes.