On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging made public an announcement on the establishment of a specialized unit that will investigate allegations of financial exploitation of senior citizens.
During the following two years, the Area Agencies on Aging network will be assisted by a group of four people known as the Financial Abuse Specialist Team. This team will consist of an analyst/supervisor, two analysts, and an attorney.
They will work together to combat financial abuse. The formation of the team resulted from the implementation of a pilot program, which kicked out with the recruitment of a retired state policeman who had previously worked as an investigator on similar cases for the preceding two years.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Secretary of Aging Robert Torres stated that “based on a sample of 22 cases where we exercised enhanced coordination and early intervention, nearly $3 million in assets were protected from further exploitation.”
Torres’ comments were based on a sample of 22 cases where enhanced coordination and early intervention were exercised.
“In light of these findings, we have made the decision to broaden the scope of this model and establish the additional capacity to provide more effective assistance to AAAs working on these cases and to ensure that victims receive the justice that they are due.”
According to the department’s findings, exploitation of an elderly person’s financial resources is one of the top three types of elder abuse that are recorded.
It can take the form of theft of property, misuse of income or assets, misuse of power of attorney, or scams that target older adults. Some examples of these scams include the medical, contractor, grandchild impostor emergencies, Social Security, IRS, fake charities, gift card scams, and pension poaching.
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“Using specialized software, FAST analysts follow the money to assist field investigators, law police, and our own elder justice attorney in determining what happened to the assets of elderly victims.
“In turn, our counsel will seek to recover back stolen assets and hold culprits accountable,” said David Aiello, FAST supervisor and a former state trooper who was part of the pilot program.
In addition, the agency has built a website that is completely dedicated to financial exploitation, and the website may be accessed at the following address: aging.pa.gov.
This website’s objective is to assist older individuals, caregivers, and other professionals working in the field of ageing with information regarding warning signs, preventative measures, and resources on essential topics such as banking, legal services, and dementia.
The revelation that the government would be developing training DVDs that would feature knowledgeable specialists explaining various areas of financial exploitation was made public.
These DVDs would cover a wide range of topics and topics categories. On the official website of the government, consumers will be able to purchase the films after they have been made available.