SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Elder financial abuse is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, costing seniors $2.9 billion a year, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
As greater numbers of baby boomers retire, the number of elder financial abuse cases will escalate, according to the D.A.’s Office.READ MORE: State-of-the-Art Water Purification Plant Helps Silicon Valley Battle Drought
In a statement, District Attorney George Gascon said, “Elder financial abuse is an invisible crime because it often goes unnoticed and unreported. It can result in the loss of one’s sustenance, housing and livelihood.”
The Elder Financial Protection Network (EFPN) held its 9th National Summit on Financial Exploitation of the Elderly in San Francisco Thursday, bringing together hundreds of seniors with elder justice professionals from financial institutions, law enforcement, social services, and the legal community.READ MORE: UPDATE: Wind-Driven Fawn Fire Near Redding Explodes To 5,500 Acres; Suspected Arsonist Arrested
Former Deputy City Attorney Ingrid Evans tried San Francisco’s first financial elder abuse case back in 2003, and since then the numbers have skyrocketed, she said.
“You see a lot of caregiver fraud, Medicare fraud, insurance fraud and other products that are sold to seniors that should not be sold,” said Evans.
Evans said the key to protecting our aging population lies with the children.MORE NEWS: Oakland Hit With Lawsuit Over Failure To Clean Up Homeless Camps
Experts suggest that adult children should talk to their parents by warning them of elder financial abuse, limit caregiver access, and tell them not to sign any documents unless they’ve talked to them. In addition, it’s a good idea to talk to elderly parents daily and ask who they’re interacting with.