The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim is to understand the threats that are out there. Elder law attorneys are always keeping their ears to the ground in an effort to educate themselves and pass what they learn on to their clients. One of the issues that is being talked about a lot right now is that of elder financial abuse, and it comes in a number of different forms.
It is hard for researchers to get a full handle on the subject because a very high percentage of the cases go unreported. According to statistics found in the paper Combating Financial Exploitation/Crimes Against the Elderly by Lisa Nerenberg and Lori Delagrammatikus just one out of every 25 instances of elder financial abuse is ever reported to the appropriate authorities.
This phenomenon is fueled by the fact that people who know and have access to the victims are the most common perpetrators. In a sad twist of irony the victim often feels as though he or she cannot report the abuse because the abuser is actually assisting the senior citizen in question in indispensable ways. And of course a motivation exists to protect a family member or other person known to the elder from prosecution.
Aside from these crimes of opportunity or desperation, seniors can also fall victim to career criminals. These days there are a lot of Internet-based scams taking place, and this is something to beware of when you are online. Even if you have reached an advanced age, some things never change: If it sounds too good to be true it most definitely is.
You also have to be vigilant when it comes to identity theft. There are Internet predators out there who would like nothing better than to assume your identity and run up big bills. Always protect your log-in information, and you may also want to subscribe to one of the reputable identity guard systems that are being offered to protect people from identity theft.
If you would like to explore how you may be able to protect yourself from elder financial abuse using legal means, simply get in touch with a licensed elder law attorney to arrange for an informative consultation.