“PROTECT Week” Aimed at Helping the Elderly

Elder financial abuseThe impact of financial fraud on the elderly is staggering: about $2.9 billion each year is attributed to these crimes.

Financial exploitation is a significant concern. It occurs when criminals operate in the open with the victims' alleged consent. It can happen at a care facility, in the community, or even in the home. These predators on the elderly can be complete strangers, caregivers, telemarketers, friends or family members.

The state of Maryland recently launched its first-ever “PROTECT Week” to raise awareness about elder financial abuse and prevention. The week-long campaign is made possible by a collaboration of public and private partners. Local, regional, and state organizations have joined together to raise awareness about elder financial abuse. Education and awareness are critical to preventing older adults from becoming victims, officials say.  The Maryland Comptroller’s office reported that in the past decade, it has detected and blocked more than 80,000 fraudulent tax returns worth over $185 million.  It guesstimates that 20% of Maryland adults aged 65 and older have been a victim of elder financial abuse. Losses have totaled up to $120,000 per elder financial abuse victim.

In 2013, Maryland law started mandating that banks and credit unions report suspected financial exploitation of citizens over age 65. AARP started its Fraud Watch Network two years ago, which is aimed at thwarting the growing fraud problem among the elderly. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh appointed a dedicated Senior Asset Recovery Unit in 2017 that investigated and sued on behalf of victims of elder financial abuse in Maryland.

Like anywhere else in the United States, officials say that it’s hard to ascertain the extent of the problem in Maryland. This is because most cases go unreported. Many seniors believe that it will never happen to them. However, even if you don’t necessarily match the stereotype, it doesn’t mean you’re protected from harm. These criminals don’t discriminate based on income level, gender or age.

Anyone who suspects that an elderly friend or loved one is being exploited, should contact law enforcement or a local long-term care ombudsman. Suspicion of financial exploitation of elders can and should also be reported to the authorities.

Reference: Baltimore Sun (January 7, 2018) “Stopping elder fraud in Maryland”


Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.