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Financial Exploitation of the Elderly: An Update of the Literature

Financial exploitation of the elderly is becoming an increasingly familiar problem. Regular review of news headlines reveals that elders and vulnerable adults are victimized routinely by frauds, scams and identity theft, at the hands of strangers as well as loved ones, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. As technology advances, perpetrators keep step by becoming more creative.

Older individuals may be targeted merely because they possess more assets, such as savings, annuities and retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, insurance policies, and property than younger people. Those with cognitive impairments, mental health conditions, or physical disabilities may be dependent upon others (family members, friends, formal and informal caregivers, or court appointed representatives) for assistance in making financial decisions or carrying out daily transactions, and therefore may be even more vulnerable to theft, exploitation or undue influence.

This compilation includes articles, reports, videos, online resources and other references that highlight multiple aspects of elder financial exploitation. References selected address not only financial exploitation perpetrated by professional predators but also by family members and acquaintances. In addition to references that focus directly on elder financial abuse, we have included a number of studies and reports that document financial exploitation as a commonly identified type of elder mistreatment.

Most of the reference materials can be obtained through local university and community libraries or interlibrary loan services. Some must be ordered directly through the publisher or production company. When available, contact and pricing information is included with the abstract. Increasingly, many resources are available online, and the web addresses are also included.* If you have difficulty obtaining any of these materials, please contact the CANE office for assistance by emailing [email protected] or telephoning (302) 831-3525.

Note: This is a selected annotated bibliography, which does not include all published references related to this topic. The included references have been selected to provide readers with a current and comprehensive collection of articles representing a variety of perspectives on the subject. It is intended to supplement and update an earlier bibliography, "Financial Abuse, Undue Influence, Scams, Frauds and Protection of Assets" (November 2003), on the NCEA Web site at: http://www.elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=cane_finabuse.cfm .

To search for additional references on this and other topics related to elder abuse, please visit the CANE Web site at: http://db.rdms.udel.edu:8080/CANE .

To search the CANE Bibliography Series, visit: www.elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=cane.cfm .

(*Web addresses may change without notice. If an address provided is no longer accurate, we recommend using a generic search engine, such as Google, to find a current link. If you cannot locate the online publication, contact the CANE offices for assistance by e-mailing [email protected] or telephoning (302-831-3525).


The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource for elder rights advocates, law enforcement and legal professionals, public policy leaders, researchers, and citizens. It is the mission of NCEA to promote understanding, knowledge sharing, and action on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

The NCEA is administered under the auspices of the National Association of State Units on Aging.

NCEA Partners
  • National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA), Lead Partner
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging
  • Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly (CANE) at the University of Delaware
  • National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA)
  • National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA)

This publication was made possible through the support provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse. Major funding for the National Center on Elder Abuse comes from the U.S. Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services. Grant No. 90-AM-2792.

Opinions or points of view expressed do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Administration on Aging.



2006

1. S6183-8
Baum, K. for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice
Identify Theft, 2004
Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs; April 2006.
Agency report (online)
Drawing upon interviews conducted as part of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) from July through December, 2004, this report indicates that three percent of all U.S. households were affected by identify theft. Among the findings, households headed by individuals aged 18 to 24 were most susceptible, although over 400,000 households in which identify theft occurred were headed by individuals aged 65 and older. Households with income levels of $75,000 and above were more likely to be affected, as were households in urban and suburban settings. Estimates are also provided regarding the amount of money lost and the amount of time spent resolving the problems. (Not specific to elders.) (Note: This report is accessible online at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/it04.htm .)

2. S6264-00
Banker's Academy of the Edcomm Group
Focus on Elder Financial Abuse
Banker's Academy, Edcomm Group; 2006.
eLearning Curricula
By integrating text, graphics, sound, video, and interactive scenarios, this online modular learning package is designed to educate employees of banks and financial institutions regarding elder financial abuse and exploitation, and their responsibilities to address the problem. The program presents an overview of various types of elder financial abuse, and includes information on recognizing the signs of exploitation, protecting customers, and appropriately reporting suspected abuse. The program can be tailored to the specific needs of the institution. For more information on the program, including fees, visit the Banker's Academy at: http://bankersacademy.com or http://bankersacademy.com/index.php?fromU%20of%20Del . )

3. S6284-28
BITS
BITS Fraud Protection Toolkit: Protecting the Elderly and Vulnerable from Financial Fraud and Exploitation
Washington, D.C.; February 2006.
Online resource
This toolkit was developed to assist employees of banks and financial institutions in addressing elder and vulnerable adult financial exploitation. Descriptions are provided for numerous types of frauds, scams and exploitation schemes, perpetrated by professional predators as well as caregivers, family members, friends and acquaintances of the victim. Guidelines for implementing employee training and protection plans are outlined, as are guidelines for addressing suspected fraud. The roles of loss prevention and legal departments are discussed, along with recommendations for collaborating with external community, state and federal agencies, adult protective services (APS) and law enforcement. The toolkit also includes a list of consumer protection tips, and a resource list for additional information, education and training on elder financial abuse and related issues. (Note: This toolkit is accessible online only at: http://www.bitsinfo.org/downloads/Publications%20Page/bitstoolfeb06.pdf . For additional resources, including a power point presentation on this material, visit the BITS homepage at: http://www.bitsinfo.org/index.html .)

4. S6182-5
Kircheimer, S.
Scams Unmasked!
AARP the Magazine; May & June 2006.
Journal article (scholarship, online)
This article, adapted from the author's book, "Scam-Proof Your Life," provides guidelines for protection against scams, frauds and identify theft. Among the tips offered, individuals are encouraged to minimize the amount of information they carry around (extra credit cards, checks, PIN numbers, social security cards, etc.), to monitor all accounts regularly, and to shred trash that contains sensitive information. Tips also include technological safeguards to enhance online banking. (Note: This article is accessible online at: http://www.aarpmagazine.org/money/scams_unmasked.html .)

5. S6295-00
NASD Investor Education Foundation, in cooperation with WISE Senior Services and AARP
Off the Hook Again: Understanding Why the Elderly Are Victimized by Economic Fraud Crimes
NASD Investor Education Foundation, with WISE Senior Services and AARP; Washington, D.C.; July 2006.
Report, online multimedia resource
This study examines "why certain elderly investors are more susceptible to investment fraud than others, exposes the various tactics used by criminals to exploit seniors and offers strategies to help seniors avoid becoming victims...The research results dispel common myths about who's actually being targeted and offers effective strategies on how seniors can avoid these costly financial traps. Researchers for the project analyzed undercover tapes of fraud pitches and surveyed victims and non-victims to determine how they differ. The researchers used their findings to develop practical messages to increase fraud awareness among seniors. Some of the key research findings include: investment fraud victims are more financially literate than non-victims; investment fraud criminals use a wide array of different influence tactics, from friendship to fear and intimidation tactics, to defraud the victim; fraud pitches are tailored to match the psychological needs of the victim; investment fraud victims are more likely to listen to sales pitches; investment fraud victims are more likely to rely on their own experience and knowledge when making investment decisions; fraud victims experience more difficulties from negative life events than non-victims; investment fraud victims are more optimistic about the future; investment fraud and lottery victims dramatically under-report fraud..." It is recommended that financial literacy and fraud prevention programs include education on persuasion tactics. (Note: To access the report and related materials, including a power point presentation and an audio file of real-life fraud pitches, visit http://www.nasdfoundation.org/research.asp .)

6. S6136-45
Teaster, P. B. et al., of the Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky, and Otto, J. of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), prepared for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)
Abuse of Adults Age 60+: The 2004 Survey of Adult Protective Services - Abuse of Adults 60 Years of Age and Older
National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), Washington, D.C.; February 2006.
Report (online)
This report, a follow up of the NCEA's 2000 Survey of State Adult Protective Services, describes the findings of the 2004 national survey of APS data regarding reported and substantiated cases of elder abuse and neglect from fiscal year 2003. Data was collected from all 50 states, Guam, and the District of Columbia. It should be noted that while all states participated in the study, only 29 states were able to separate cases involving victims aged 60 and over from vulnerable adults younger than 60. Among the 19 states reporting types of abuse, 14.7 percent of the substantiated cases involved financial exploitation. (Note: The entire report is accessible at: http://www.elderabusecenter.org/pdf/2-14-06%20FINAL%2060+REPORT.pdf . The fact sheet summarizing highlights of the study is also available online at the NCEA Web site at: http://www.elderabusecenter.org/pdf/2-14-06%2060FACT%20SHEET.pdf . The web cast seminar highlighting the findings of this report, which includes a power point presentation, is available on the NCEA web site at: http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=31874 .)

7. S6215-00
U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging
Not Born Yesterday: How Seniors Can Stop Investment Fraud
Washington, D.C.; March 29, 2006.
U.S. Senate Hearing (online)
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's data, investment fraud is responsible for significant losses among Americans aged 50 and over, ranking fourth among all complaints lodged by this age group. This hearing addresses the need for enhanced financial literacy among older individuals, and emphasizes the need for prevention and intervention programs, which would be funded through the proposed Elder Justice Act. Testimony was provided by the following speakers: Ruth Mitchell, Victim of Investment Fraud, Columbiana, OH; Barry Minkow, former scam artist, San Diego, CA; Patricia Struck, President, North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA), Washington, DC; Elisse Walter, Executive Vice President, Policy & Oversight, National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), Washington, DC; and Susan Ferris Wyderko, Acting Director, Division of Investment Management, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Washington, DC. (Note: The transcript and web cast of this hearing are available online at: http://aging.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?
Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=166 .)

2005

8. S6165-52
Age Concern New Zealand
Age Concern Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services - An Analysis of Referrals for the Period: 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2004
Age Concern New Zealand, Inc.; Wellington, NZ; November 2005.
Agency report (online)
This statement provides an analysis of over 1200 cases of elder abuse and neglect reported to Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention services (EANP) from July 2002 through June 2004. Among the findings, the majority of abusers (70 percent) are family/whanau members, typically sons or daughters, regardless of the client's living situation; older perpetrators (aged 65 and up) are more likely to be husbands; family violence occurs even when elders are living in residential care facilities, with two-thirds of all residential client abuse being attributed to family/whanau members; psychological abuse, including verbal intimidation and harassment, is the most frequently experienced type of abuse, followed by material or financial abuse. The researchers note that these statistics are based on reported cases only, and that international studies suggest that this only represents the "tip of the iceberg." (Note: This report is available online only at http://ageconcern.org.nz/files/file/EANP_final.pdf .) (New Zealand)

9. S6285-8
BITS Fraud Reduction Steering Committee
BITS Fraud Protection Guide: Protecting the Elderly and Vulnerable from Financial Fraud and Exploitation
Washington, D.C.; September 2005.
Online resource
This paper was developed as an educational tool to raise awareness of the problem of financial exploitation of the vulnerable and elderly, and the role that employees of banks and financial institutions can play in prevention and intervention. Various scenarios of frauds, scams and schemes are presented, along with a list of potential indicators of financial abuse. Guidelines for branch offices as well as loss management and fraud departments are also provided. (Note: This publication is accessible online at: http://www.bitsinfo.org/downloads/Publications%20Page/bitselderly.pdf . Additional resources are available on the BITS Website at http://www.bitsinfo.org/index.html . See CANE file # S6284-28 or item #3 of this bibliography for a description of the BITS Fraud Protection Toolkit: Protecting the Elderly and Vulnerable from Financial Fraud and Exploitation. This material was also reprinted with permission in the Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled, Vol. 8 No. 4 November/December 2005.)

10. R6051-6
Boldy, D. et al.
Addressing Elder Abuse: Western Australian Case Study
Australasian Journal on Ageing; Vol. 24 (1), 3-8; March 2005.
Journal article (research)
A questionnaire regarding the prevalence and characteristics of elder abuse was mailed to over 1,000 organizations and 129 general practitioners (GPs) throughout Western Australia. Analysis of the 340 completed and returned surveys revealed that there were 182 substantiated and 253 suspected cases of abuse throughout the region, suggesting an estimated prevalence rate of 0.58 percent. Women and individuals over 75 were at increased risk of abuse, and financial abuse was identified as the most common form of mistreatment. Perpetrators were most commonly adult children and other relatives of the victims. Recommendations include the need for increased awareness and education among professionals dealing with elders, along with respite care, advocacy and counseling. (Australia)

11. S6130-7
Consumer Action, in partnership with Capital One Services
Just Say No! To Senior Scams
Moneywi$e; November 2005.
Online resource (bilingual)
Although seniors account for approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population, they account for approximately 30 percent of fraud victims throughout the country. This online resource highlights some of the most common scams and schemes perpetrated (such as living trust scams, fake emergency appeals, home improvement scams, pyramid schemes, lottery prizes and sweepstakes, identify theft, etc.) and provides concise and practical prevention strategies. Seniors are encouraged to report suspicious incidents to law enforcement agencies and adult protective services. (Note: This brochure is accessible online, in both English and Spanish, at: http://www.money-wise.org/index.php/moneywise/
articles/just_say_no_to_senior_scams .)

12. S6212-19
Dessin, C.
Elder Law: Should Attorneys Have a Duty to Report Financial Abuse of the Elderly?
Akron Law Review; Vol. 38; 2005.
Journal article (scholarship)
This article considers the issue of whether attorneys can and should report suspected elder financial abuse under mandatory reporting statutes. Conflicts arising from the mandate to report suspected abuse, and the Model Rules of Professionals Conduct which describes the attorney's duty to maintain client confidences, are discussed. Distinctions between the Pre-Ethics 2000 version of the Model Rules and the Ethics 2000 revision are highlighted; under the latter, in some cases an attorney would be able to reveal information in order to "prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm..." in states only where the reporting is mandatory. The author summarizes the three basic approaches adopted by states to deal with the need to protect client confidentiality while complying with any mandatory reporting requirements. She argues that difficulties in assessing the potentially exploitative nature of financial transactions notwithstanding, attorneys remain responsible for being alert to potential abuse in order to protect the best interests of the client and to fulfill the obligation to provide competent representation. In conclusion, under the principles of providing competent representation, the author argues that the attorney should report suspected financial abuse when the client is perceived as incapable of consenting to the allegedly abusive behavior. In addition, the attorney should report suspected abuse when learning of it through the perpetrator.

13. R6034-9
Hall, Ryan, Hall, Richard., & Chapman, M.
Exploitation of the Elderly - Undue Influence as a Form of Elder Abuse
Clinical Geriatrics; Vol. 13 (2), 28-36; 2005.
Journal article (scholarship, online)
This article presents an overview of undue influence, which involves the manipulation and coercion of a vulnerable adult in order to gain his or her assets. Although there are numerous variations in state legislation addressing the prosecution of this form of financial exploitation, many require evidence of the victim's diminished capacity and some place a heavy burden of proof in establishing that the assets were not transferred voluntarily, knowingly, or with proper intent. Risk factors for victims are outlined, and include advanced age, frailty, being female and unmarried, being cognitively impaired, socially isolated (in particular, being estranged from children), financially independent, and being susceptible to deception and/or intimidation. Perpetrator characteristics are also highlighted, for both male and female abusers. Perpetrators are predatory and display patterns of victimization, typically by acting to isolate a vulnerable victim and then cultivate the role of advisor, advocate, caregiver, or protector, so that the victim becomes increasingly dependent. Medication is also used to gain control of the victim. Similarities between the dynamics in the victim-abuser relationship and the Stockholm syndrome are considered. A case study is presented that illustrates the model of undue influence established by the expert, Dr. Margaret Singer. In addition to reporting the suspected exploitation to the designated protective services agency, other recommendations are made for physicians and health care practitioners. (Note: This article is available online at: http://www.hmpcommunications.com/cg/attachments/3773.pdf .)

14. S6197-4
Harris, K.
Protecting Your Elder Customers
ABA Banking Journal; pp7, 8, 14, 60; March 2005.
Journal article (scholarship, online)
By focusing on a case of financial exploitation involving an investment banker, this brief article looks at the responsibilities that bankers have to protect elderly clients, and the pros and cons of mandatory reporting of suspected elder financial abuse by bank employees. Model programs and initiatives from several states are highlighted. Although Oregon does not require mandatory reporting by employees of financial institutions, legislation provides banks with immunity from liability for reporting suspected abuse. Florida identifies bankers as mandatory reporters. Professional training tools developed by California's Elder Financial Protection Network (EFPN), along with collaborative efforts among banks, adult protective services programs and financial crime units, are also described. (Note: This article is available online at: http://www.allbusiness.com/periodicals/article/363554-1.html .)

15. S6125-5
Kemp, B. & Mosqueda, L.
Elder Financial Abuse: An Evaluation Framework and Supporting Evidence
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society/JAGS; Vol. 53 (7), 1123-1127; 2005.
Journal article (research)
This study was designed to develop a viable framework for evaluating cases of alleged elder financial abuse. Eight elements were incorporated into the framework: the older adult's vulnerability due to physical, psychological, pharmacological, or social problems; a trusted individual who exploits the vulnerability; the transference of assets during a period of vulnerability; isolation of the vulnerable adult; a lack of an appropriate assessment of the vulnerable elder's capacity to make such decisions; inadequate compensation for transfers; a lack of commonly accepted business protocols; a lack of recognition of the impact of the transaction by the perpetrator. A sample of 159 professionals (district attorneys, law enforcement, adult protective services professionals and social workers) were ask to rate how well the framework evaluated financial abuse cases, based upon their experiences in working directly with such cases. Out of 5 total points, the average rating was a 4.4, with 90 percent of the participants indicating that the framework mirrored their experiences very much or entirely. No significant differences were found among professional groups. The tool may be used by multidisciplinary teams, and by clinicians (particularly geriatric physicians) evaluating the victim's vulnerability and the dynamics between perpetrator and victim.

16. S6148-3
Kruse, C.
"Think of Me as the Daughter You Never Had"
NAELA News; 9-11; August-September 2005.
Journal article (scholarship)
In this commentary, the author describes scenarios of undue influence that may be encountered in elder law practice. The first phase of the exploitation is accomplished when the elder has entered a state of dependency upon the predatory caregiver, a state in which he or she is isolated from other friends, relatives and acquaintances. He argues that not only may the attorney intervene when he or she suspects that an elder is being financially exploited, but that he or she should intervene to protect, by seeking the appointment of a guardian or through other means, as allowed for in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.14 (b).

17. S6282-6
Leagjeld, M.
How to Request Bank Records
Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled; Vol. 7 (5), pp73, 74 & 76; January/February 2005.
Newsletter article
Written by a retired bank employee, this article provides practical guidelines for adult protective services professionals (APS) who are requesting bank records while investigating cases of suspected financial exploitation. An overall recommendation is to request as much information as possible up front, but recognize that most likely there will be a need for additional information requests. Among the key points outlined are the need to request information on "ANY and ALL" accounts pertaining to the alleged victim; to obtain copies of signature cards; and to specifically ask for photocopies of the "FRONT and BACK" of each document in question. In addition, recommendations regarding "paperless" transactions are also provided along with samples of wording that may be particularly effective.
        
18. R6069-45
Myers, J.
Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (from Myers on Evidence in Child, Domestic and Elder Abuse Cases)
Aspen Publishers, New York, NY; 2005.
Book chapter
This chapter addresses issues that the attorney may encounter when handling cases of elder abuse and neglect. An overview of the topic of elder mistreatment is presented, followed by a discussion of the human aging process, including medical conditions (such as dementia and delirium) that may develop and trigger changes in memory and other aspects of daily functioning. The evaluation of decision-making capacity is crucial to cases in which an elder's autonomy is at stake, and the author discusses components of effective assessment. Aspects of medical evidence (related to falls, pressure sores, malnutrition and dehydration, bruises, abrasions and lacerations, and physical restraints) that are essential to prosecution of abuse and neglect cases are highlighted. Scheduling, availability to testify, preservation of testimony (depositions and video testimony), and practical courtroom accommodations (for example, allowing a support person to accompany an elderly witness) for older victims and witnesses are among the issues examined. The chapter concludes with recommendations regarding the prosecution of financial exploitation and undue influence. Relevant state statutes and case laws are cited throughout to illustrate concepts and strategies. (Note: This chapter, available through CANE, is taken from the two volume set entitled, Myers on Evidence in Child, Domestic and Elder Abuse Cases, Aspen Publishers, NY. The set can be ordered online at www.aspenpublishers.com or by telephone at 1-800-638-8437. Price: $295.00.)        

19. S6114-00
National Consumers League (NCL)
Telemarketing Fraud Educators Toolbox
National Consumers League (NCL); 2005.
Online resource
As quoted from Justice Information, a newsletter of the U.S. Department of Justice: "...The Telemarketing Fraud Educators Toolbox provides tips, presentations, scripts for radio PSAs and speeches, and much more. Materials are available in both English and Spanish..." The toolbox is intended for "representatives from government agencies, unions, social service agencies, schools, and nonprofit organizations... The Toolbox is not intended for use by businesses, trade associations, or the media. If you are not sure whether you qualify to use the Toolbox, please contact NCL at [email protected]." (Note: This resource is available online only at: http://www.fraud.org/toolbox/members.htm .)

20. S6283-6
Otto, J.
Background Paper on Financial Exploitation of the Elderly 2005 - White House Conference on Aging - Prepared on Behalf of the National Adult Protective Services Association
Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled; Vol. 8 (1), pp1, 14-16; May/June 2005.
Newsletter article
This background paper, prepared for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, presents an overview of the major issues and policy considerations regarding financial exploitation of the elderly. Just as a paucity of research on the scope of elder abuse in general hampers the implementation of adequate protections for elders, equally limited information on the scope of financial elder abuse hampers the response to this type of elder mistreatment. Information gleaned from a joint program of the loss management department of the Wachovia Corporation and the Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging suggests that "...elderly Americans may be losing more than two billion dollars each year as the result of financial exploitation..." The paper concludes with discussion of potential resources and strategies for combating elder fraud, exploitation and financial abuse.

21. R6093-18
Reed, K.
When Elders Lose Their Cents: Financial Abuse of the Elderly
Clinics in Geriatric Medicine; Vol. 21 (2), 365-382; May 2005.
Elder financial abuse is one of the most difficult types of elder abuse to diagnose given its lack of overt physical symptomatology. In this overview, intended for physicians and health care practitioners, guidelines are offered for the detection of financial exploitation in clinical settings as well as in home settings. The SAVED acronym is useful in identifying high risk situations (standing for Stress or social isolation; Alcohol/drug use; Violent history; Emotional/psychiatric illness; and Dependency, or dynamic of the family). The practitioner is reminded to consider personal barriers to detection of elder mistreatment (such as frustration in dealing with elders) as well as systemic issues and patient's resistance. Risk factors concerning the patient, his or her relationship with the abuser, are also discussed.

22. S6198-13
Tilse, C., Setterlund, D., Wilson, J. & Rosenman, L.
Minding the Money: A Growing Responsibility for Informal Caregivers
Ageing & Society; Vol. 25 (2), 215-227; March 2005.
Journal article (research)
Increasingly, informal caregivers are taking on more, and more complex, aspects of asset management for the elders they assist. In this study, the nature and extent of asset management by informal caregivers in Australia is examined. Data was drawn from a random sample, stratified telephone survey involving 3,466 respondents. In addition, semi-structured interviews with 81 asset managers and 34 elders were conducted. The results estimate that 32.9 percent of the adult population is engaged, to some degree, in informal asset management of elderly or disabled care recipients. Although more than half of the care provided was for parents or in-laws, nearly one-quarter was for friends or neighbors. Not only impaired capacity due to dementia, but lack of confidence in one's ability to execute these tasks and physical disability and frailty were also significant reasons for the assistance. Most commonly, caregivers assisted with multiple tasks, including paperwork, paying bills, accessing money, dealing with pension/annuity issues, and managing property. Informal arrangements were more common than formal processes (such as enduring Power of Attorney or EPA). Nearly half of the caregivers initially used their own money to pay the elders' bills, then typically were reimbursed or reimbursed themselves from the elders' funds, a potentially risky practice. Another area of risk involved the concept that emerged during interviews regarding the need to preserve family relationships over accountability. The authors indicate that current legislation regarding substitute decision-making is insufficient to support caregivers in this role, and recommend the development of policy and programs to enhance awareness of the tasks involved and the financial literacy of elders, and the development of accountability practices. (Australia)

23. S6216-00
U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging
Old Scams - New Victims: Breaking The Cycle of Victimization
Washington, D.C.; July 27, 2005.
U.S. Senate Hearing (online)
This hearing focuses on scams, frauds, and identity theft, and their impact upon older Americans. The following witnesses testified on various types of financial exploitation, interventions, and prevention initiatives: Lois C. Greisman, Associate Director, Federal Trade Commission; Zane M. Hill, Acting Assistant Chief Inspector, United States Postal Inspection Service; Anthony Pratkanis, Professor of Psychology, University of California at Santa Cruz; Denise C. Park, Director, National Institute on Aging Roybal Center for Healthy Minds, University of Illinois; Helen Marks Dicks, Director, Elder Law Center, Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups; and Vicki Hersen, Director of Operations, Elders in Action, Portland, OR. Testimony also highlighted scientific research that provides insight into the social, psychological and physiological factors that contribute to the vulnerability of older victims. (Note: The transcript and web cast of this hearing are available online at: http://aging.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=71 .)

2004

24. P5474-00
Attorney General of Texas, Abbott, G.
Protecting Senior Texans - Protecting Seniors from Financial Exploitation
Attorney General of Texas; 2004.
Online resource
This online training tool uses video clips to illustrate various financial abuse and financial
exploitation scenarios that bank tellers may encounter, and provides illustrations of appropriate interventions. Topics covered include undue influence of mentally incapacitated individuals, identity theft, home repair scams and lottery scams. From the web site, those victimized in Texas can report suspected financial abuse and exploitation. (Note: This resource is accessible online at:
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/elder/tellers.shtml .)

25. S6199-10
Boyer, K.
Elder Exploitation Litigation in Nevada: A Model for Effective Recovery of Assets
NAELA Advance Practitioner's Program; March 2004.
Online resource
In Nevada, recent legislation was enacted that allows for greater damages and a quicker recovery of assets in cases of elder financial exploitation. The purpose of this article, part of the NAELA Advance Practitioner's Program, is to provide the Nevada elder law attorney with a framework for initiating action for the recovery of assets and property in such cases. Initially, the attorney must take action to stop the exploitation, through revocation of prior Powers of Attorney, restructuring bank accounts, etc., or, if the client is incompetent, referral to adult protective services, or for guardianship or conservatorship. When the perpetrator is a family member, unique challenges may arise; both client and abuser may believe the perpetrator is entitled to some of the assets appropriated, or the courts may be reluctant to waste limited prosecutorial resources on cases where repeat victimization, or victimization of others, appears unlikely. Case law is used to illustrate concepts related to issues of capacity assessment and undue influence. The article concludes with a presentation of a case study considered to have a fact pattern common to many cases of elder financial exploitation. (Note: This article is available online at: http://www.rlbolick.com/articles-10.htm .)

26. R6040-5
Cress, C.
Understanding the Causes of Financial Elder Abuse - Aging Peter Pans Target Parents with Fiscal Abuse
CareManagement; August/September, 33-37; 2004.
Journal article (scholarship, online)
Following a brief overview reporting the estimated magnitude of the problem of elder financial abuse, the author suggests that many perpetrators share similar characteristics to the literary character, Peter Pan. Such perpetrators are in their late 40's to early 60's, and may live at home and be dependent upon their parents for financial security. Sociological triggers for this dynamic are considered. Longer life expectancy indicates that many parents are living longer, but may still be dependent upon adult children for assistance and care. In addition, sociological influences (such as Dr. Spock's "permissiveness", the drug culture of the 60's and 70's, and the egocentricity of the "me" generation) may have contributed to the long-term dependence of adult children on their aging parents. The accumulation of assets among seniors makes them viable targets for exploitation. The impact of multiple caregiving responsibilities over significant time periods may add to the stress of adult children who are already impaired in some way. (Note: This article is accessible online at: http://www.asaging.org/elderabuse/documents/aging%20Peter%20Pan.pdf .)

27. S6279-5 and S6280-7
Curtis, L.
Older Fraud Prevention, Intervention, and Victim Services Through Faith Communities - Parts 1 and 2
Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled; Vol. 6 (6) pp81, 82, 95 March/April 2004 and Vol. 7 (1) pp3, 15, 16; May/June 2004.
Newsletter article
This article provides an evaluation of an elder fraud prevention program, an initiative of the Denver District Attorney's Office, combining education and intervention through faith communities. Part 1 describes the components of the Clergy Against Senior Exploitation (CASE) Partnership, an eighteen month demonstration project of the Office of Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice, which involved efforts to form alliances across various faith communities, train clergy regarding elder fraud, provide education and outreach to seniors, distribute monthly fraud alerts and provide assistance to seniors through crime reporting, victim support, and fraud prevention services. Part 2 focuses on program evaluation. Follow-up surveys of both clergy and senior participants suggest that the project was effective in raising awareness and developing prevention strategies. Measurable goals, flexibility in customizing programs to meet the needs of individual faith denominations, sharing "best practices," and employing adult learning techniques were identified as key in the successful implementation of the project. Mailing invitations for training to clergy and reaching out directly to minority and ethnic communities, without developing alliances first through key community contacts were among the weaknesses.

28. P5636-10
Guion, L., Turner, J. & Wise, D.
Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Elder Financial Abuse Program
Journal of Extension; Vol. 42 (3); June 2004.
Journal article (research, online)
This online publication describes a collaborative pilot project between the University of Florida Cooperative Extension and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, "Striking Back: Elder Financial Abuse Prevention." The educational program consists of the "Leader's Guide," (developed for peer educators), the "They Can't Hang Up Videotape," (which uses cases scenarios to debunk the myths that victims are isolated and vulnerable), eight practice scenarios, the Federal Trade Commission's "Ditch the Pitch" publication, "Thirteen Ways to Say No," handout, and a fact sheet addressing the scope of financial exploitation and barriers to prosecution. Seventy-nine elders throughout six Florida counties participated in the program. Sixty-six participants signed follow-up consent forms, which allowed researchers to randomly contact them six weeks post intervention to present a mock telemarketing pitch to determine the percentage who would hand up immediately or use one of the described strategies to end the call. Of the 44 contacted for the mock telemarketing follow-up, four hung up immediately, 16 interrupted the telemarketing pitch and then hung up, twenty-two used one of the thirteen ways learned to refuse a solicitor, and two continued to listen and began to consent to donate money. In debriefing, participants indicated that the program was helpful in practical terms as well as in providing confidence to deal with phone solicitors. (Note: This article is available online only at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2004june/a6.shtml .)

29. S6277-8
Lamp, J.
Durable Power of Attorney Reform and Streamlining Investigations of Vulnerable Adult Financial Exploitation Crimes: An Outsider Looking In
Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled; Vol. 4 (1), pp5, 6, 13; May/June 2004.
Newsletter article
In this article, the author and former United States Attorney outlines a proposal of statutory reform for durable powers of attorney (DPOA), noting that DPOA fraud is "...arguably the fastest growing area of white-collar criminality nationwide..." Safeguards such as background checks for prospective agents, provisions of accountability, mandatory training for Notaries Public, and realistic sentencing for those who prey upon vulnerable adults are among the recommendations made. It is further recommended that adult protective services (APS) investigators have civil administrative subpoena authority for use with suspected perpetrators. Such a model is in place in the state of Washington. A comparison of the proposed model and the existing police criminal authority to investigate is provided.

30. R6059-4
Lantz, M.
Elder Abuse: Making a Difference
Clinical Geriatrics; Vol. 12 (2), 37-40; December 2004.
Journal article (scholarship, online)
By focusing on a case study of an older patient, the author provides an overview of how physicians, social workers and other health care professionals may encounter elder mistreatment and successfully intervene. Practitioners are reminded that red flags indicating financial exploitation as well as physical abuse, neglect, self-neglect and sexual abuse may be observed in the clinical setting. Reporting suspected abuse is considered the most valuable intervention that a clinician can make, and information for accessing the appropriate local reporting agency through the Eldercare Locator directory is provided.

31. S6191-16
Marson, D., Huthwaite, J. & Hebert, K.
Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence in the Elderly: A Jurisprudent Therapy Perspective
Law & Psychology Review; Vol. 28, p71-p96; Spring 2004.
Journal article (scholarship)
This article considers mental health practices related to the area of testamentary capacity (TC) using a theoretical framework of therapeutic jurisprudence, an approach which analyzes the therapeutic value of legal rules, procedures and roles. The opening discussion provides an historical overview on the development of TC law, and describes current legal requirements for TC specifically in relationship to older adults. A case study highlights the impact of undue influence upon individuals with dementia. The following section describes current mental health practices applied to the legal processes involving TC and undue influence. The following themes are among the major points addressed: an individual possesses multiple capacities (which vary according to the specific task being assessed); the value of limited capacity (versus an "all or nothing" perspective); the need to recognize that diagnosis does not constitute incapacity; and that cognitive or psychiatric impairment does not automatically constitute incapacity. Methods of contemporaneous assessment of TC and undue influence (prior to the execution of a will), and retrospective assessment (also known as a neuropsychological autopsy, which occurs when a will is contested on the grounds that the testator lacked capacity at the time of execution) are discussed. In the final section, the authors indicate that current mental health practice and science appears insufficient; recommendations include the need for enhanced professionalism, the development and testing of forensic assessment instruments, and the clarification of roles among psychologists and other mental health clinicians involved in this area of law.

32. P5906-8
Doctors, Elder Abuse, and Enduring Powers of Attorney
Matthews, F.
The New Zealand Medical Journal; Vol. 117 (1202); September 2004.
Journal article (scholarship, online)
This article, intended for physicians, presents a discussion of the shortcomings in New Zealand legislation regarding the means of protecting people with diminished decision making capacity. The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act (PPPR Act, 1988), administered by the Family Court, allows for surrogate decision making by either a court appointed welfare guardian and/or property manager, or through an enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) appointed by a donor prior to incapacitation. Welfare guardians are instructed to consult with the person for whom they act and to encourage the incapacitated adult to make his or her decisions whenever possible. Attorneys named in the EPA are not specifically instructed to consult with the donor or promote his or her welfare. However, anyone suspecting mistreatment of the donor by the attorney can request a court review of the appointment. A recent study of elder abuse committed through misuse of the EPA identified two broad categories of mistreatment: financial impropriety and failure to provide appropriate care. Recommendations to enhance the protection of incapacitated elders include the need for monitoring of the mental status of the donor at the time of an appointment of an attorney, and the need for the donor to obtain legal advice upon the appointment of an attorney. (Note: This article is available online at: http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/117-1202/1080/ .) (New Zealand)

33. P5662-111
Moore, S. & Schaefer, J.
Remembering the Forgotten Ones: Protecting the Elderly From Financial Abuse
San Diego Law Review; Spring 2004.
Journal article (scholarship)
As quoted from the Introduction, "The goal of this article is to encourage legislators to strengthen the laws against all types of elder abuse, particularly financial abuse." The article addresses various types of exploitation by professional perpetrators for which elders are often targeted. Independent elders lose 60 percent of the annual $60 billion lost to frauds and scams. The authors discuss issues related to their vulnerability and reluctance to report victimization. The strengths and limitations of current protections (civil and criminal justice systems, protective services, etc.) are considered. Existing legislation is outlined, and includes collaborative efforts between the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, along with such initiatives as the SCAMS Act, the Telemarketing Act, and the wire fraud statute. The proposed legislation, the Seniors Safety Act (SSA) is also described. Finally, the authors suggest that the simplest remedy may be enhanced sentencing guidelines for crimes committed against seniors. The appendix contains a listing of current laws, by state, that address elder abuse. It also includes general statutes that address telemarketing and charitable solicitation.

34. P5637-52
Nerenberg, L. (primary author), for the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) and the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)
Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Elders in Indian Country
NCEA; Washington, D.C.; June 2004.
Agency report (online)
In 2002, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) was retained by the NCEA to study the scope and nature of elder abuse in Indian Country, and to identify the unique needs of vulnerable and abused Indian elders. The study involved a literature review along with a review of existing policies regarding elder abuse and neglect, an assessment of current projects and programs as well as recommendations from the "Healing Ourselves, Healing Our Spirits, Healing Our World" conference (2002), small group discussions, surveys of Tribal Title VI Coordinators, input from the Indian Health Services Combined Clinical Councils regarding promising practices, and comprehensive interviews with tribal representatives and other key informants. When Title VI directors were asked which types of abuse had been most commonly reported, financial abuse was most frequently identified, with neglect and self-neglect also regularly reported. Seven principles to guide policy development for prevention and intervention are identified, and emphasize the need for initiatives to be culturally compatible. The need for elder abuse initiatives to remain within the jurisdiction of the tribes as sovereign governments is also considered essential. Recommendations include the need for tribe-specific assessments and planning along with national research, including epidemiological studies. The publication also includes promising practices, resources, and contact information. (Note: This report is available online at: http://www.elderabusecenter.org/pdf/whatnew/abuseindian040707.pdf .)
                
35. R6024-22
Rabiner, D., Brown, D. & O'Keefe, J.
Financial Exploitation of Older Persons: Policy Issues and Recommendations for Addressing Them
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect; Vol. 16 (1), 65-84; 2004.
Journal article (research)
Under the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (2000), the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in consultation with the Departments of Treasury and Justice, conducted a study of financial exploitation of older persons. This article reports upon the findings of that research, which involved a literature review, consultation with nationally recognized experts in the area of elder financial abuse, the development of a technical advisory group (TAG), and analysis of promising practices. The following needs were identified: to understand risk factors associated with victimization (including a more specific cognitive screening that focuses on executive control functioning); to understand perpetrators of financial exploitation (particularly distinguishing between opportunists and predators); to obtain accurate prevalence and incidence data; to understand the full impact of financial exploitation (in terms of not only the health and psychological well-being of the victim, but also the sociological and economic costs); to evaluate the effectiveness of money management programs and other preventative initiatives; to reduce misuse of legal protections (such as Powers of Attorney) and to provide effective monitoring mechanisms; to identify key elements of prosecution; to establish restitution programs; and to develop multidisciplinary training and education. (Note: This article includes an essay linking it to a companion piece by the same authors, "A Conceptual Framework of Financial Exploitation of Older Persons," JEAN, Vol. 16 (2), 2004. See CANE file #R6025-23 for additional details.)        

36. R6025-23
Rabiner, D., O'Keefe, J. & Brown, D.
A Conceptual Framework of Financial Exploitation of Older Persons
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect; Vol. 16 (2), 53-73; 2004.
Journal article (scholarship)
In this article, the authors present an applied ecological framework for studying factors associated with both victims and perpetrators of elder financial abuse. Microlevel (or microprocess) factors include the individual characteristics of both victim and offender as well as the interpersonal dynamics of their relationship, including status inequality, and power and exchange interactions. According to the literature, microprocess factors associated with victim vulnerability include advanced age, social isolation, and loneliness. According to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study (NEAIS) older White females living alone are the most vulnerable to financial exploitation. Abuser characteristics associated with all types of elder mistreatment include substance abuse, mental health problems, gambling behaviors and financial problems. Macrolevel factors impacting the detection of and intervention in elder financial abuse include cultural norms regarding elders, public policies (including reporting statutes), criminal remedies (i.e. prosecution), civil remedies (including legal protections, such as Powers of Attorney and Guardianship), and prevention initiatives (including efforts to raise public awareness, decrease social isolation, and implement safeguards in handling routine financial matters.) (Note: This article includes an essay linking it to a companion piece by the same authors, "Financial Exploitation of Older Persons: Policy Issues and Recommendations for Addressing Them," JEAN, Vol. 16 (1), 2004. See CANE file number R6024-22 for additional details.)

37. S6211-27
Sylvester, E.
Identity Theft: Are the Elderly Targeted?
Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal; Vol. 3 Spring 2004
Journal article (scholarship)
In this legal commentary, the author considers the impact of identify theft upon the elderly. The discussion begins with an overview of this escalating form of financial exploitation and of legislation enacted to address it, particularly the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998. Characteristics that increase the vulnerability of older individuals are highlighted, and include isolation, dependence upon others for assistance, the tendency to be trusting, the tendency not to seek a "second opinion" or to report exploitation. The importance of technology, such as the internet, to the perpetration of scams and frauds is considered, but the author emphasizes that many less sophisticated means are available for the abuser, including stealing mail and personal belongings, going through trash, etc. A number of initiatives, including proposed legislation, such as the Social Security Number Misuse Prevention Act, are described. Recommendations for enhanced enforcement and increased public awareness are also described.
        
38. S6218-127
U.S. General Accounting Office
Consumer Protection: Federal and State Agencies Face Challenges in Combating Predatory Lending (GAO-04-280)
U.S. General Accounting Office; Washington, D.C.; January 30, 2004.
Agency report (online)
Predatory lending is a term that encompasses a variety of practices (including deception, fraud and manipulation) employed by brokers or lenders that disadvantage borrowers, often in mortgage transactions. Data suggests that elders are disproportionately targeted. This investigation considered the following: the state and federal responses in place to address the problem; the factors that increase elders' susceptibility to predatory lending; the impact of secondary mortgage markets; and the potential prevention impact of consumer education, mortgage counseling and loan disclosures. Although there is only one federal law in place to specifically address predatory lending (the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act), the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies have been able to file complaints on behalf of victims. While the secondary mortgage market may benefit borrowers by expanding choice, it may also foster problems by allowing dubious lenders to sell off loans with predatory terms. Due to the complexity of mortgage lending, consumer education and counseling have limited effectiveness. Physical and cognitive impairments are among the factors that increase elders' vulnerabilities to this type of exploitation. Recommendations made include expanding the authority of the Federal Reserve Board to allow it to monitor and examine nonbank mortgage lending entities and to initiate enforcement of relevant laws against such lenders. (Note: The entire report is available online at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04280.pdf . Highlights of the report are accessible online at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04412t.pdf . See CANE file # S6217-00 for a description of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on this topic.)

39. P5878-97
U. S. General Accounting Office (GAO)
Guardianships: Collaboration Needed to Protect Incapacitated Elderly People (GAO-04-655)
U. S. General Accounting Office (GAO); Washington, D.C.; July 2004.
Agency report (online)
In this report, the researchers analyze "...(1) what state courts do to ensure that guardians fulfill their responsibilities, (2) what guardianship programs recognized as exemplary do to ensure that guardians fulfill their responsibilities, and (3) how state courts and federal agencies work together to protect incapacitated elderly..." State statutes were analyzed and guardianship courts of Florida, California, and New York (states with the largest elderly population) were surveyed. In addition, four courts that were identified as exemplary by the National Guardianship Network were studied: Broward County, Florida; Rockingham County, New Hampshire; San Francisco County, California; and Tarrant County, Texas, Probate Court #2. Among the findings, although all states have courts to oversee guardianship, the court implementation varies. While many states require the filing of periodic reports, court review of reports is not specified. Judicial issues arise when one state does not recognize a guardianship originating in another state. Most states do not track the number of active guardianships or the number of incapacitated elders. Coordination among state courts and the representative payee programs of federal agencies (such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Office of Personnel Management) is inconsistent, and often leaves incapacitated elders vulnerable to financial abuse and exploitation. Exemplary courts focused on the training of guardians (beyond state requirements), and monitoring through computerized case management, court visitor programs, in depth review of reports filed, and oversight by court employees. A primary recommendation is that federal agencies create a study group to enhance information sharing among themselves and the state guardianship systems. (Note: The entire report can be accessed online at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04655.pdf .)

40. P5880-00
U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging
FORUM: Protecting Older Americans Under Guardianship: Who Is Watching The Guardian?
Washington, D.C.; July 22, 2004.
U.S. Senate Hearing
This hearing, which accompanied the release of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled, "Guardianships: Collaboration Needed to Protect Incapacitated Elderly People (GAO-04-655; See CANE file # P5878-97)," features opening remarks by Senator Larry Craig, and testimony by Barbara Bovbjerg (lead author of the GAO report), A. Frank Johns (a certified elder law attorney), Nancy Coleman (Director of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging), Robert Aldridge (attorney), and Debbie Armstrong (Deputy Director of the New Mexico State Agency on Aging). (Note: The transcripts of this hearing are accessible online at http://aging.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=52 . The GAO report can be accessed online at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04655.pdf .)

41. P5531-00
U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging
Internet Fraud Hits Seniors: As Seniors Venture into the Web, the Financial Predators Lurk and Take Aim
Washington, D.C.; March 23, 2004.
U.S. Senate Hearing (online)
This hearing addresses the impact of internet fraud and financial exploitation affecting
seniors. In addition to the opening statement by Senator Craig, testimony was offered by Jeffrey Groover (a computer specialist convicted of identity theft), David Nahmias (Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Justice Division, U.S. D.O. J.), Lawrence Maxwell (Assistant Chief Inspector of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service), Howard Beales (Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission), Tanya Solov (Illinois Securities Director) and David Jevans (Chairman, Anti-Phishing Working Group). (Note: The transcripts of this hearing
may be accessed online at http://aging.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=43 .)

42. S6217-00
U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging
Predatory Lending: Are Federal Agencies Protecting Older Americans From Financial Heartbreak?
Washington, D.C.; February 24, 2004.
U.S. Senate Hearing (online)
This U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing highlights the findings of a recent GAO investigation on predatory lending practices. Recommendations made include the possibility of allowing the Federal Reserve Board to monitor and examine "...nonbank mortgage lending subsidiaries of financial and bank holding companies to ensure compliance with federal consumer protection laws applicable to predatory lending..." and to give the Board the authority to initiate enforcement of those laws against such lenders. Testimony was provided by the following witnesses: David G. Wood, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, General Accounting Office (GAO); John C. Weicher, Assistant Secretary, Housing/Federal Housing Commission, US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Howard Beales, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission; Gavin Gee, Director, Idaho Department of Finance; Lavada DeSalles, Member of the Board of Directors, American Association of Retired Persons; and Veronica Harding, a victim of these practices from Philadelphia, PA. (Note: The transcript of this hearing is available online at: http://aging.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=40 . See CANE file # S6218-127 for a description of the GAO report.)

43. P5755-4
Walters, N. for the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI)
Identity Theft: An Update on the Experience of Older Complainants
AARP Public Policy Institute; October 2004.
Agency report (online)
Using 2003 data from Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, this publication updates the AARP Public Policy Institute's report issued in 2001. Overall, complainants aged 50 and over were 1.75 times more likely than all other aged complainants to report identity theft, including existing and new credit card account fraud and attempted identity theft. The highest rates of complaints among this age group were found in the District of Columbia, Nevada, California, Arizona, Texas, New York, Colorado, Oregon, Florida, and Michigan. (Note: This report is accessible online at:     http://research.aarp.org/consume/dd102_id_theft.html .)

44. S6214-14
Wong, D.
Utah's Adult Protective Services Statute: Preventing the Fleecing of Grandma and Grandpa
Journal of Law and Family Studies; 2004.
Journal article (scholarship)
After providing a general overview of financial exploitation, the author describes the scope of Utah's adult protective services (APS) statute addressing financial abuse of the elderly and disabled. Among the perceived strengths of the statute, which is now located in the Criminal Code, is the fact that it protects individuals aged 65 and over regardless of infirmity or incapacitation and it provides the victimized elder with the right to bring action against an alleged perpetrator, and to pursue compensation in civil court under the APS statute if prosecution cannot be commenced. In addition, it specifically criminalizes the misuse of Power of Attorney or a guardianship. In order to further enhance the legislation, it is recommended that the APS statute allow for compensation of attorney fees, in addition to compensation for loss of assets, in successful civil litigation. Increased prosecution, naming bank employees as mandatory reporters, and strengthening penalties are additional recommendations.

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