State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Division of Office of Public Advocacy

Alaska Department of Administration, Office of Public Advocacy
Administration >  Office of Public Advocacy >  Programs >  Elder Fraud Assistance Education >  Financial Exploitation Explained

Financial Exploitation Explained

What is Financial Exploitation?

Financial Exploitation takes many forms

Definitions:

    • The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study:
      • "Illegal or improper use of an elder's funds, property, or assets."
    • Alaska's New Statute:
      • Robbery, extortion, theft, and
      • "exploitation of another person or another person's resources for personal profit or advantage with no significant benefit accruing to the person who is exploited."

How much of this goes on?

A Widespread Problem:

    • Estimated 5 million cases each year
    • However, probably only 1 of every 25 cases reported

Why aren't more cases reported?

    • Many Elders:
      • Have disabilities which inhibit their ability to report abuse.
      • Do not know they have been exploited or discover the exploitation after it has occurred and assume it is too late to seek help.
      • Fear they will not be believed
      • Associate a stigma with being labeled a victim.
      • Are dependant on their perpetrator
      • Fear retaliation from their perpetrator
      • Fear the loss of their independence

Who are the perpetrators?

    • According to the 1998 National Elder Abuse Incidence Study:
      • 60.4% of perpetrators are the adult children of the victim.
      • Approximately 45% of perpetrators were 40 or younger, 39.5% were between 41 and 59.