Even in our technologically advanced society, the most common types of elder financial abuse and fraud involve direct mail and telephone scams. However, the existence of artificial intelligence, the Internet, and other forms of technology have increasingly given criminals additional tools with which to defraud senior citizens of money that they can ill afford to lose. Technology essentially can make it easier to defraud a senior by identifying his or her emotional triggers that will make him or her more likely to give money to the perpetrator.
For example, crowdfunding charity drives, such as those found on “GoFundMe,” commonly show up on Facebook and other social media platforms that senior citizens are more likely to use in today’s society. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to verify whether a GoFundMe account is legitimate or if you are donating money for the correct cause. When seniors are not as technologically savvy as others might be, or are developing memory problems, they become much more vulnerable to financial abuse.
These new “tools” for financial abuse by criminals only are adding to a problem that already is quite widespread in America today. An estimated one in five senior citizens has experienced financial abuse at some point. The risk of financial exploitation tends to grow with the wealth of the individual. Therefore, wealthier senior citizens are at a higher risk of financial abuse than other senior citizens. These individuals also tend to live longer than their non-affluent counterparts, which makes them more susceptible to dementia and other medical conditions that affect the brain. This group of people also may have a greater need for caregiving, which also places them at an increased risk for financial exploitation.
At Boller & Vaughan, suffering abuse or neglect by those who are supposed to be taking care of you, such as your close family member, can be both physically and emotional painful. We are here to take some of the burden off your shoulders by allowing us to pursue any legal claims that are available to you and work toward much-needed and much-deserved compensation. As skilled Madison neglect and abuse lawyers, we are here to help you through this ordeal from a legal perspective, while you concentrate on healing yourself and your family by receiving the proper care and moving forward with your life.