For each case of elder fraud reported to authorities, an estimated four or more go unreported, according to MetLife. Appallingly, family members and caregivers are the perpetrators in 55 percent of the cases.
So, for each 100 elderly persons we know that there are 20 reported frauds. For each one of these, there are four more frauds (or more), so that comes to 80 unreported frauds. So at a minimum, 100% of all the elderly are fraud victims.
I am not trying to argue that fraud against the elderly isn't a problem, but such unexamined exaggerations are not helpful. I'm surprised that the WaPo editors let this one by (or am I?).
Are there bright lines around the "fraud" by family members or caregivers, so we know what we are talking about? When the allegation of fraud incidence is that high, I wonder just how the crime is defined.
So, let's say I'm taking care of my elderly parent, and having seen all this reporting I've decided to get more aggressive, more protective. But that's also a red flag, according to the article, and now I will be a suspect.
The professionals are encouraged to probe and pay attention to any changes in an elderly person's behavior or the presence of a caregiver who appears excessively protective or dominating.No easy answers.