By Dan Branch, CPA/ABV, ASA – Partner
IAG Forensics & Valuation
According to Georgia law, elder abuse is any intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. It includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, self-neglect or abandonment. It might be physical violence, isolation, or identity theft or the theft or embezzlement of a senior’s property.
Unfortunately, the number of elder abuse cases in Georgia is growing. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation recently labeled the increase, especially across North Georgia, as the “Silver Tsunami.” Based on information from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), an organization whose mission is to improve the health and economic security of older adults (typically considered 60+), the abuse can take many forms – phone scams, Medicaid/Medicare fraud, home improvement scams, counterfeit prescription drugs, homeowner/reverse mortgage scams, lottery scams and, probably the most heart wrenching, the grandparent scam where a scammer calls an elderly person, pretends to be a grandchild, and proceeds to ask for money to be sent via Western Union or MoneyGram (which don’t always require ID to collect the money).