Study warns of elder financial abuse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Study warns of elder financial abuse

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A recent study finds the elderly are more likely to become victims of financial abuse.

According to data from the Metlife Mature Market Institute, older Americans are out $2.9 billion a year due to financial crimes, that's a 12 percent increase from 2008.

"It's frightening, an increase of people willing to take advantage of people who aren't able to control everything," said Stephanie Vance, activities director for Higley Mansion Care Center in Cedar Rapids.

The study found most commonly, strangers targeted elderly victims who were out running errands.

It's why staff always accompany Higley Mansion residents when they go out in to the community.

"I make sure that I pay close attention to what the bills are when they come, making sure everybody's being charged for what they're supposed to be charged for," Vance said.

The data reveals a significant percentage of exploitation also came from the business sector.  Older Americans are advised to be cautious when dealing with solicitors.

Those concerned they may be a victim of financial abuse can contact the Heritage Agency on Aging.

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