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Despicable financial acts committed against the elderly have been, and continue to be, a growing problem. We are well past the time that says, "Enough is enough." It's time to STAND UP TO ELDER FINANCIAL ABU$E. Have you ever succumbed to a fraudster's deception, know someone who has, or want to avoid being a victim of their psychological manipulations? If so, this is the book for you.
In his poem, Beautiful Old Age, D.H. Lawrence wrote, "It ought to be lovely to be old." However, "lovely" is not how many aged men and women feel after being swindled. While those 65 and older comprise about an eighth of the U.S. population, they represent about a third of scam victims, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. Not one day goes by without a news story about a despicable financial act committed against someone who is elderly. The abuser not only takes the victim's money, but the victim's trust in society that they've built up over the years; their independence in taking care of themselves, including their financial needs; and their pride in making sound judgments. After the crime, these casualties are left emotionally, physically, and financially drained. More than any other age group, those 65 or older are falling victim to frauds because they are often easily accessible and socially isolated as they reach their retirement years, spending more time at home. Also, they experience declining physical and mental well-being as they grow older, causing the fraudster to take advantage of their decreased cognitive abilities. Finally, and most importantly, significant assets are controlled by retirees, who have accumulated them over a lifetime of hard work. Con artists go where the money is, and it's with seniors. Older Americans control trillions of dollars of wealth, a figure that makes scammers salivate.
Don't ever say to yourself, "This can't possibly happen to me." It can, and, for some of you, it has, but you may not even know it. Realize that it's not your fault. You did nothing wrong, so don't blame yourself. None of us is too smart for someone as cunning as a determined financial scammer. Start protecting yourself, and your money, from these charlatans. We'll get into the fraudster's mind to understand their motivation and tricks of the trade, and your mind, so you can understand your own vulnerabilities to these tactics. We'll go through some of the financial scams that are targeted towards the elderly, along with recommendations for the victims, and their loved ones, to follow. Investigators and regulators who care about these sages of wisdom, and want to protect them from the dregs of society, will also learn from the scenarios presented herein, and will be better prepared to follow-up on suspicious activity that might indicate a senior has been financially abused. And, finally, lawmakers will learn of the extent of the problem, and the gaps in our laws that need to be closed, if seniors are to be better protected. This book is for all fraud fighters - victims, family and friends, caretakers, lawmakers, investigators, and regulators, anyone who cares about the scourge of elder financial abuse, and wants to do something to combat it. We must work together to get it done. As Edmund Burke, the Irish statesman said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." When it comes to protecting ourselves from street criminals, we turn on our outdoor lights, lock our doors, get an alarm system, put our valuables in a safe, tell our neighbors to pick up our mail and newspapers, but what do we do to protect ourselves from the sophisticated and slick fraudster? When it comes to the innovative, less violent, financial crimes, we do little. These, and the people who commit them, need to be stopped, and this book will empower you to do just that. So, let's get started on the journey to doing something.
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