This column appears in the Social Security Administration’s October 2022 Monthly Information Package, and is shared with permission.
Are you concerned about protecting your older relatives and friends from elder abuse? The pandemic highlighted the disproportionate impact of tragedy on underserved communities, including older adults, who face high rates of elder abuse, fraud, and nursing homes deaths.
It’s important to remember that elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or financial status. We are committed to helping and preventing further victimization – especially in underserved communities.
A recent Federal Bureau of Investigation report showed that elder fraud has increased. Older adults in the United States reported over $1.6 billion in losses in 2021. This includes victims of COVID-related scams. Older adults in the U.S, also lose nearly 25 times more money to scammers than other groups –an estimated $113.7 billion a year!
Reporting fraud can be difficult and older adults tend to underreport– especially when money is lost. Many older Americans are unsure about the reporting process or feel too embarrassed to report. Understaffed Adult Protective Services offices can also cause long processing times and underreporting.
We work hard to protect beneficiaries from Social Security and government imposter scams. You can learn more about protecting your loved ones at blog.ssa.gov/slam-the-scam-how-to-spot-government-imposters and our Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams webpage at www.ssa.gov/scam.
Please share these important resources with your family and friends.