Why Do Elderly Persons Hesitate Reporting Financial Fraud?
As seniors age there is a diminished capacity to handle the daily activities of life which becomes difficult to accept. Whether it is our ability to drive a car, work in the yard or handle our financial matters, the loss of these abilities leads to a sense of losing control. The facts of life become more difficult to accept. As the basic functions of daily living become more difficult for an elderly person there is an increased reliance upon others to act in their best interest. From the simple theft of personal items to an elaborate scheme designed to defraud an elderly person of their life savings, protecting the elderly is every decent person’s business and obligation.
Professionals from all disciplines who interact with and serve the elderly should recognize that the process of aging ultimately transforms clients into targets for perpetrators of financial fraud. In many instances, the elderly hesitate reporting financial fraud for the following reasons:
- embarrassment to admit they have been financially exploited;
- sense of loyalty to report a family member, friend or caregiver;
- fear of retaliation or losing their independence;
- reliance upon the abuser for care or assistance;
- denial unwilling to acknowledge that financial fraud occurred;
- victims suffer erosion of self-esteem; and
- unaware they have been exploited, or unsure how to report financial fraud.
Klayman & Toskes, P.A. is dedicated to the rights of elderly investors and their families. State of Florida Statute 825.103 is designed to punish perpetrators of “elder financial fraud” and protect the exploitation of elderly persons. A financial advisor or other person engages in elder financial fraud if they:
- Knowingly, by deception or intimidation, deprive the victim of use or benefit of personal funds;
- By an individual who know or reasonably should know that elderly person lacks capacity to consent; and
- Breach of fiduciary duty to an elderly person which results in an unauthorized appropriation.