Financial Fraud Committed Against the Elderly
Millions of Americans are victims of fraud each year.1 Many of those who fall prey to this crime are elderly; however, it is difficult to estimate the prevalence of elder fraud because cases are underreported and the definition of "elderly" varies from state to state.2 Even though national statistics on elder fraud do not exist, studies have shown that it is a problem in this country.3 This crime can have a significant impact on its victims because they are incapable of recovering financial losses; many are too old or frail to reenter the workforce. The emotional impact of elder fraud can be traumatic as well.
A variety of innovative policies and practices have been developed to address and raise awareness of financial fraud committed against the elderly. The Communities Against Senior Exploitation (CASE) Partnership, developed by the Denver District Attorney's Office with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), is a promising program that is working to address this significant problem. From 2002 to 2006, OVC funded the partnership between the Denver District Attorney's Office and specific faith-based organizations to provide community-based services for elder financial fraud prevention, intervention, reporting, and victim support.