**Financial Exploitation Costs Older Americans $28.3 Billion Annually, Majority Stolen by Known Individuals**
(Bloomberg), Financial exploitation costs older Americans 28.3 billion dollars annually. Nearly three quarters of this amount is stolen by people they know, like family members, friends or caregivers.
**Unreported Cases and Reasons Behind Them**
Calculating the costs of elder financial exploitation. “the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets” Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This is a big challenge. The study conducted by AARP in conjunction with the National Opinion Research Center of University of Chicago shows that this is partially because so many of these crimes are not reported.
The study revealed that in 88% of cases, victims who know the perpetrator do not report the crime. This may be due to the fact that they do not wish to shame their family or caregivers, or because of shame themselves.
**Impact of the Pandemic**
According to a 2022 study conducted by AARP Public Policy Institute, the rate of financial exploitation more than doubled between mid-March 2020 and the end of March. This was exacerbated due to the social isolation caused by the pandemic.
**Contribution to Retirement-Savings Crisis**
These losses are part of a growing retirement crisis in America. A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that this crisis could cost state and federal governments up to $1.3 trillion dollars by 2040.
The vast majority older victims do not get their money back. They also lose it at a stage of life where many Americans are unable to compensate by working more — if at all. The report stated that the costs could be spread to other family members who might contribute more to their loved ones’ care as well as taxpayers who would have to pay a higher bill for assistance to victims.
**Methodology and Findings**
AARP says its method improves upon previous approaches by using three respected datasets — the Consumer Sentinel Network, compiled by the Federal Trade Commission; the Internet Crime Complaint Center, run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the suspicious activity reports about financial exploitation, submitted by financial companies to the Department of the Treasury.
The report examined the exploitation and re-use of data among American over 60s. It also accounted duplication and re-use between data sets. “a more nuanced methodology that corrects for underreporting rates based on the perpetrator’s relationship to the victim.” In 2020, a study was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology which found that 12.5% of cases of exploitation were reported when it was committed by a familiar person. In cases where victims knew the perpetrator, the average loss is $50,000. This compares to $17,000 in cases of strangers.
The report highlights the alarmingly high prevalence of financial exploitation of older Americans. It is important to increase awareness of this issue and to provide support to those who are affected. The report also stresses the need for better legal protections as well as resources to address and prevent elder financial exploitation.
Recover Investment Losses
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