June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), and Better Business Bureau Serving Western Ontario is marking the occasion by calling attention to the many ways the elderly are victimized in Canada, and throughout the world.
BBB receives hundreds of phone calls each year from senior citizens who have been targeted or victimized by scammers. These can range from common scams such as bogus travel deals or lottery schemes to outright financial fraud.
One of the more common types of abuse that BBB often hears about is financial fraud.
Financial elder abuse occurs when seniors’ banking or credit accounts are exploited by scammers who take advantage of the vulnerabilities sometimes associated with age.
What makes the crime particularly frightening is that in most cases the abuse is carried out by someone the senior knows, such as a family member, caregiver or friend.
Many victims do not realize they have been taken advantage of. Or if they do know, they may not want to tell anyone due to embarrassment or fear of losing what independence they may have.
Unfortunately financial elder abuse can be difficult to identify. If often takes a caring family member, friend or caregiver to recognize that fraud has occurred. These are some signs to look for:
If you or someone you know might be a victim of Elder Abuse contact your local law enforcement agency.