Thieves Targeting the Elderly

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Millions of elderly people in the U.S. live alone and many of them suffer from loneliness and diminished capacity. That makes them vulnerable to thieves.

Criminals like to pick the easiest targets that they can find. For many thieves that means they like to target the elderly. They tend to have liquid assets and tend to be trusting.

The U.S. has millions of elderly citizens who live alone and who are vulnerable to people who would take advantage of them.

Recently, the Washington Post, in “Elderly, lonely and suffering from dementia — to thieves, the perfect mark,” wrote about a case where a woman met an 81-year-old man at the store, married him a week later and then proceeded to drain his bank accounts for her own benefit.

She was recently convicted for her crimes.

No one is certain how much money is stolen from elderly people every year because many cases go undiscovered or unreported. Estimates have ranged into billions of dollars a year. Often after the money is stolen it is impossible to get it back.

Even when the thief is caught and convicted for their crimes, the money has already been spent and the thief has no way to pay restitution.

Elderly people are advised to be careful about whom they trust.

If a person is new in an elderly person’s life and seems overly friendly, then the elderly person would be wise to guard his or her bank accounts carefully. However, because many elderly people suffer from a diminished capacity with age, they cannot prevent elder abuse on their own.

Consequently, it is important that friends and family members remain on the alert for it as well.

A qualified elder law attorney can help create trust arrangements to provide essential checks and balances on an elderly person's assets.

Reference: Washington Post (July 25, 2016) “Elderly, lonely and suffering from dementia — to thieves, the perfect mark,”

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