There are two general categories of financial crimes against the elderly: fraud committed by strangers, and financial exploitation by relatives and caregivers. Elders may seem to be easily targeted due to the stereotypes of being poorly informed, being alone, and potentially suffering from mental deterioration. Furthermore, most seniors do not know the warning signs and indicators of financial fraud, and make their decisions based on either a promise to receive goods and/or services, or on advice from someone they trust.
Researchers agree that elder fraud is gravely underreported. The underreporting of these crimes makes it difficult to apply problem solving, and the opportunity to form community partnerships lessens. One way to decrease elder fraud is to educate seniors on the warning signs and indicators of financial crimes.
Crime prevention efforts have identified a number of warning signs and indicators of both consumer fraud and financial exploitation, since the means of committing the two types of crimes are different. The following warning signs and indicators are not fully inclusive.
Warning Signs of Consumer Fraud
Indicators of Financial Exploitation
Explore the resources, guides & reports. To read more on Financial Crimes against the Elderly, you can click on Resources and click on COPS Library. You can also order the Financial Crimes against the Elderly RIC publications by calling the COPS Response Center at 1.800.421.6770 or by using the COPS Publications Request Form . Publications are free and mailed free of charge. Many documents can also be read online or downloaded.