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Survey Finds Theft By Family Members Most Common Form Of Financial Elder Abuse

A new poll examining financial exploitation of American seniors finds that 79 percent of experts surveyed identified theft or diversion of funds by family members as the most common form of financial abuse.

The poll asked state securities regulators, financial planners, health care professionals, social workers, adult protective services workers, law enforcement officials, elder law attorneys, and academics about their experiences with elder abuse. 77 percent of individuals surveyed thought that seniors are very vulnerable to financial abuse, and most cited financial abuse by family members as the most common form of financial abuse. Most respondents indicated that older veterans face the same deception risks as other seniors, but affinity fraud and VA Aid and Attendance fraud were also cited as important problems to address.

About 70 percent of those surveyed reported financial counseling and education programs administered by local professionals, such as caregivers, adult protective services workers, and law enforcement agencies as the most useful tool for helping seniors effectively manage their finances. Programs delivered through senior centers and other senior care organizations and programs delivered by senior oriented national and local organizations were also considered positively by respondents.

Learn more about the financial exploitation survey conducted by the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and Investor Protection Institute (IPI) in response to questions posed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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