Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse

Elder and dependent adult abuse can happen to anyone, it does not discriminate. Family and loved ones can be the abusers. Many elder and dependent adults do not report these crimes due to the shame and fear of the potential of the loss of independence that can come with reporting. Financial and physical abuse can co-occur. Even if the abuse is solely financial, it can result in physical consequences. There are agencies that can help if you or a loved one have been a victim of elder or dependent adult abuse.

Inside a Victim Services meeting room

Who Are Elders and Dependent Adults?

An “elder” is any person aged 65 years or older. A "dependent adult" is any person between the ages of 18 and 64 years experiencing physical and/or mental limitations.

Beware Some Common Scams

  • Imposters claim to be from the bank, IRS, Social Security, Lottery or PG&E (to name just a few) and try to worm PIN numbers or to gain access to your home
  • Scammers call and pretend that your grandchild is in danger/trouble and needs money fast.
  • Scammers scan obituaries and then descend on the surviving spouse and pressure them into risky financial transactions when they are at their most vulnerable
  • Romance/Sweetheart scammers capitalize on the loneliness and isolation of elders who are vulnerable to the attention of a younger, attractive partner
  • Abusers typically marry their victims to gain legal access to their property and finances.
  • Beware of fraudulent use of social media and/pr dating websites/apps

For more information regarding senior scams and how to protect yourself, please visit: Senior Scams Take a Variety of Forms (Excerpt from The Napa Register)