Many seniors are likely to turn over their finances to another party as they age. They typically entrust this money to family or friends in order to relieve some stress and give them some power in the event they are unable to make their own, or clear, decisions. This may also prevent “elder fraud,” or taking advantage of seniors for financial gain.
Elder fraud is considered a white collar crime because it is typically committed by those in good financial standing who have access to an elder’s personal information. They know it may be easier to get away with an elder fraud crime because they may not closely follow their finances.
Many different people may try to take advantage of an elderly person’s financial situation. It can be people they know, even family members, or it could be someone who has access to their information or accounts, such as accountants.
Credit card and check fraud is commonly performed against the elderly. Stolen credit cards may cause significant damage, or newly opened credit card accounts may go unnoticed. Investment and security fraud can cause significant damage. Falsifying signatures on a will is a crime that comes with a harsh punishment.
Not all those accused of this crime are guilty. The circumstances are often misread. A common defense strategy is to show insufficient evidence. Especially for Internet-related fraud charges, it can be difficult to determine exactly who is at fault. The financial actions taken may also have not been intended for personal gain. Sentences may also be reduced through plea bargains or showing a lack of malicious intent.