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(707) 981-8403

Frequently Asked Questions

How does EFPN fight elder financial abuse?

Community education is the key. We conduct community education seminars and workshops for seniors and community members. We conduct public awareness campaigns to increase prevention, intervention, and reporting of abuse. We also train financial professionals to take action - early intervention results in loss prevention. We provide referrals to the public for reporting/legal resources.


Why is elder financial abuse called the "Crime of the 21st Century?

Boomers and their parents are retiring with significant assets. The greatest transfer of wealth in history: $10 trillion dollars estimated over the next 20-30 years.


Myth: Elder Financial abuse only happens to wealthy seniors.

Not true! Elder financial abuse crosses all socio-economic boundaries. For the lower-income elder, a little is a lot to someone who doesn't have much. In fact, it might be all they have and even a small loss can have devastating effects and result in the loss of independence.


What are the most common forms of elder financial abuse?

  • Family Members & Hired Caregivers
  • Usually a Person Known to the Elder
  • Consumer Fraud That Targets Elders
  • Financial Predators Who Gain the Trust of an Elder or Con the Elder out of Their Money or Property


Why don't elders report their own abuse?

  • Don't Want to Cause Trouble for a Family Member or Bring Shame on the Family
  • Dependence on the Caregiver
  • Fear of Retaliation
  • Fear of Loss of Independence
  • Lack Capacity to Know or Report

What is the cost of elder financial abuse to American seniors?

Met Life 2009 Study says $2.6 billion in annual losses to seniors. Elders that lose their independence may become reliant on public benefits and unnecessary institutionalization, cost unknown. Loss of life: Abused elders are 3.1 times more likely to die as a direct result (cite Journal of American Medicine).


What are the greatest challenges in fighting this crime?

Lack of reporting due to the above and victim stigma. Resistance by victims to take action against the abuser. Complexity of cases and lack of training by law enforcement. Funding the fight—elder abuse prevention and intervention get roughly 1/7 of the funds.


Tips to avoid elder financial abuse and exploitation:

  • Avoid isolation
  • Plan ahead; carefully assign POA's; consider a corporate Trustee and geriatric care manager
  • Carefully screen and check references of anyone you hire (Download Hiring In-Home Help Handbook)
  • Do Not Open the Door to Strangers or Invite Anyone You Don't Know into Your House
  • Secure Financial Documents
  • Photograph Valuables
  • Don't Get Rushed into a Deal—Shop around
  • Never Pay Fees or Taxes in Advance for Winnings
  • Don't Give out Private Information to Anyone Who Calls You on the Phone.