Financial abuse targeting elderly on the rise
How to prevent senior exploitation
- Duration 4:14
- Date Jun 24, 2012
How to prevent senior exploitation
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It's dramatically on the rise and it turns out aren't too many seniors are being swindled out of billions of dollars a year.
Most of the crimes about 50% are committed by strangers.
But sometimes are carried out to the tune of about 34%.
By family and friends and neighbors.
And so many of us are either approaching being elderly or taking care of the elderly so in today's take charge consumer protection segment.
I wanted to take a look at how you can keep yourself and your loved ones from being financially exploited.
And joining me now is Arizona attorney general Tom -- attorney -- want to thank you so much for coming and for this.
It's great to be with you I was impressed Arizona has actually published a guide it.
To help people who are either approaching senior air time or taking care of -- parent.
Or loved one from being ripped off.
How big a problem was this in your state.
It's a it's a big problem because.
The senior citizens have their life savings they're living on pensions and life savings so that makes them a likely target.
But women are twice as likely as men to be victims and most victims are actually over AD.
So it's very serious problem I started something called costs of the task force against senior -- I wanted to do it in a way that wouldn't cost the taxpayers anymore money so we put a specialist.
In each of our regular sections so in our criminal section our consumer fraud access fraud outreach and so on they're people who would be there anyway and they're an expert.
In in senior abuse and so if you call in because you yourself are being abused or somebody you know is being abused -- you suspect it.
There's we we have one telephone number and then that -- that woman will direct you to an expert in the relevance at.
And a lot of states are following the example.
It in doing this because it's becoming a rising problem what is -- red flags.
Especially if it's and neighbor a friend a family member as opposed to a complete stranger to know that you.
Should ask more questions you are being ripped off.
One red flag with -- respective two seniors that you know is if -- new names going on their bank accounts.
Or -- new people moving in with them.
And a couple of very very prominent frauds that we're warning people against one is called the grandma off.
Fraud where people call in and claim to be there there -- grandchildren and in jail -- Mexico or someplace they need them to wire money.
So that your your viewers need to be -- of that simple sometimes they use FaceBook accounts people sometimes put personal information on FaceBook accounts.
So they'll get the names of their grandchildren.
And it it helps them impersonate them.
And get seniors to wire money to them and they've wired too far away places and nothing nothing that we can do but -- -- one of our judges to warn people about.
I wouldn't even thought of that want one thing I want to ask you is everybody should check their credit report and maybe you should do this for a senior loved one.
Is it not possible to freeze your credit so that nobody gets credit in the name of the senior.
It is possible to do that and and we advise seniors to check their credit twice a year.
I -- our job is twofold on the one hand we prosecute people.
Who commit senior abuse especially.
When it deals with -- -- fraud where they someone pretends to be a caretaker and then they start writing checks on their account.
We're taking money from them and other ways.
And and then the other half of our job is to warn people and so we've given hundreds of presentations.
Two senior communities warning them of the kinds of -- that they're likely to face and how to avoid them.
All right one other tip -- if you have a caregiver taking care of a loved one you know background checks getting information asking questions.
You should just do that at have before you have a problem and.
We've just hit the information.
You know you want to be very careful of caregivers because a lot of fraud is committed by people pretending to be caregivers.
-- should go to your State's website and others to check out what's available on where to report these crimes we need to clamp down and take care of our seniors thank you so much this.
Attorney general -- -- Erica.
They wait for having me --