Most Florida residents have probably heard about sad cases involving the physical abuse of an elderly person. Unfortunately that is not the only form of elder abuse that can be experienced. Some seniors can be taken advantage of and exploited financially. Potential victims, their family members, neighbors, friends, and caregivers should all know what signs to be on the lookout for.

The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse notes that there are many forms of elder financial abuse. Taking a person’s money or property that may have financial value is often involved. In some situations, an abuser can get an elderly person to sign a new will or other document putting power or assets into the wrong hands. This is sometimes done by an opportunist who promises to love or care for the person in exchange for money or an inheritance.

Sadly, the people who may be financially abuse to an elderly person can often be family members or caregivers. Sweetheart scams may involve someone who was once a stranger but pretends to be in love with the victim in order to gain confidence and ultimately money.

If elder financial abuse is suspected, people are directed to report it. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs explains that there are three ways to report suspected elder abuse. One is via the website of the Florida Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services. Other options involve making reports via a phone call or even a fax. Providing as much detail as possible is always helpful when making such a report.

Luis E. Barreto