The surge in financial exploitation targeting the elderly has become a concerning family issue, with approximately three-quarters of cases involving exploitation by family members, caregivers, or friends, as indicated by recent data.
A 2022 AARP study highlighted a significant increase in such incidents, particularly noted during the early stages of the pandemic, possibly exacerbated by the isolation of the older generation, leading to illicit activities by close acquaintances and institutions.
Compounding the problem is the reluctance of many victims to report such crimes due to feelings of shame. Suzanne Woolley, in her Bloomberg article, referenced a 2020 study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, revealing that only 12.5% of cases involving exploitation by known individuals were reported. These instances of financial abuse contribute to a broader retirement-savings crisis in the USA, with estimated costs of $1.3 million by 2040, as reported by Pew Charitable Trusts, further impacting multiple generations.