Pa. Elder Abuse Task Force shares tips to fight scams

Written by on June 25, 2021

Pa. Elder Abuse Task Force shares tips to fight scams

By Hayden Mitman
June 25, 2021

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Dept of Aging says the isolation during the pandemic has made seniors more vulnerable to forms of financial abuse so the agency has launched a task force to look into these crimes.

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But the effort is made more difficult  due to the fact that more than 60% of the time a family member is involved in the abuse.  

The financial abuse task force led a workshop intended to help protect vulnerable seniors. 

Katrina Boyer, Education Coordinator for the state’s Department of Banking and Securities, says planning ahead is crucial because targeting of the elderly is all too common. 

“Care for our older adults needs to begin well before it gets to a situation where an older adult is incapacitated,” Boyer says.  

David Shallcross, Director of Senior Protection Unit at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, says, most importantly, seniors need to be very cautious when they grant someone power of attorney. 

“It’s not who you love the most. It’s the person that you trust the most,” Shallcross says.  

These crimes can be hard to detect, he says. 

“We also see this type of complaint quite often coming through and we really want you to think about who you’re entrusting with your financial affairs,” Shallcross says.  

Online, the task force has created new ways to report abuse and there are training videos on how to recognize signs of financial scams.

There is also free or reduced cost legal support available for seniors who worry they may have been targeted. 

More information is available at Aging.PA.gov

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