Senior Scams, Fraud, and Abuse
In Pennsylvania, and across the United States, there are more and more reports of elder abuse incidents. Elder abuse is any knowing, intentional, or negligent act that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. While definitions may vary, elder abuse may be: physical abuse; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; neglect; abandonment; exploitation; or self-neglect. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2010-2011 Older Adult Protective Services Report indicates that 15.3% of substantiated cases were of financial abuse or exploitation, and 37.5% were cases of self-neglect. Elder abuse is often undetected, unreported, and untreated. This page serves as a resource designed to make information about elder abuse, fraud, and financial exploitation – and how to report it - more easily accessible.
Scam, Fraud and Abuse Resources
- FBI - Fraud Target: Senior Citizens
- Federal Trade Commission - Scam Alerts
- Stop Senior Scams
- Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly - Scam Alerts
- Administration on Aging - What is Elder Abuse
- National Center on Elder Abuse - FAQ
- National Council on Aging - FAQ
- AARP - Fraud Watch Network
If fraud is suspected, action can be taken. The Senate Special Committee on Aging has a toll-free fraud hotline: 1-855-303-9470 and website where fraud can be reported.
Internet crime complaints can also be reported to the FBI and the National White Collar Crime center: www.IC3.gov
In Pennsylvania there is a statewide elder abuse hotline 1-800-490-8505, which will connect to the local Area Agency on Aging. The hotline is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Cartwright Legislates on Senior Scams, Fraud, and Abuse
Washington – Today U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright announced the introduction of the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act. Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
The Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act would expand the federal definition of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The legislation would also incorporate elder abuse prevention trainings, screenings, and reporting protocols into all senior service access points receiving federal dollars under this bill.