- Who are vulnerable adults?
- Who perpetrates financial abuse against vulnerable adults?
- What types of financial abuse are perpetrated?
- How prevalent is financial abuse of vulnerable adults?
- Is anyone mandated to report abuse?
- Will anyone find out if I report abuse?
- Where do I report suspected abuse of a vulnerable adult?
1. Who are vulnerable adults?
Any elder adult defined as age 65 or older, or dependent adult defined as between the ages of 18 and 64, who suffer from a physical or mental disability that renders them incapable of handling their own personal and/or financial affairs.
2. Who perpetrates financial abuse against vulnerable adults?
Everyone. Financial abuse has been perpetrated by every group including, but not limited to, clergy, police, firemen, attorneys, financial planners, bankers, social workers, friends, family, caregivers, etc.
3. What types of financial abuse are perpetrated?
A myriad of abuses are perpetrated and can include anything from advanced fee fraud schemes (lotteries, Nigerian e-mails), roofing scams, sweetheart swindles, asphalting scams and bank examiner frauds, to manipulation and exploitation of loneliness and isolation to gain an advantage in estate planning documents.
4. How prevalent is financial abuse of vulnerable adults?
Statistics are difficult to state with any real accuracy due to the lack of reporting. Vulnerable adults are scared, humiliated and embarrassed by the abuse and often do not report it. However, we believe that only 1 in every 100 cases of financial abuse is actually reported.
5. Is anyone mandated to report abuse?
Yes. All health care professionals and clergy members (except within the bounds of the confessional) are mandated reporters who have a legal duty to report suspected abuse, whether financial, physical, mental or emotional.
6. Will anyone find out if I report abuse?
Reports of suspected abuse are confidential. In this state it requires two different court orders for the name of the reporting party to be revealed. To our knowledge, although the first order has been granted, there has not been an instance in which both orders have been granted.
7. Where do I report suspected abuse of a vulnerable adult?
If the suspected abuse is occurring in the community, for example in the vulnerable adult’s home, apartment, condominium, HUD housing, mobile home, etc., the report should be made to Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1 (800) 451-5155. If the suspected abuse is occurring in a licensed facility, for example skilled nursing facility (SNF), board and care, assisted living facility or residential care facility (RCFE), the report should be made to the Ombudsman program at (714) 479-0107. If it is an emergency situation, law enforcement should also be contacted.