The financial abuse of elderly people in the United States is unfortunately a very serious problem, with more than $36 billion being stolen from elders each year according to The True Link Report on Elder Finance Abuse 2015.
The True Link study showed that seniors from all walks of life are susceptible to this type of manipulation, and a significant number of victims were younger seniors with college educations and not living in isolation. In fact, they lost more to abuse than those who were older, isolated, and less educated.
Unfortunately, the research shows that family members are the most frequent abusers of seniors. A relative might ask a widow or widower with assets for a “loan” to tide them over or invest in a new business and then fail to repay the loan (or the business fails or the investment is a scam). In cases such as these, the elder often has no recourse.