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Combatting Elder Abuse: The Role of Technology in Fighting Financial Exploitation

By Karen Webber, on April 17th, 2024

Elder abuse, a distressing reality for many older adults, is a complex issue that demands urgent attention. Globally, one in six older adults has experienced abuse in the past year, highlighting the pervasive nature of this problem. Defined as an intentional act or failure to act that causes harm or creates a risk of harm to an older adult, elder abuse often occurs at the hands of caregivers or individuals the elder trusts. This abuse is compounded by factors such as increased poverty, reliance on government assistance, limited care and housing options, broken families, and increased isolation. The consequences are severe, leading to a lower quality of life, higher rates of depression and suicide, and a staggering three times higher likelihood of death compared to their peers.

One common form of elder abuse is financial exploitation. Unfortunately, addressing financial exploitation is no easy feat. Hiring forensic accountants, who play a crucial role in investigating financial exploitation cases, isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. Access to practitioners with the necessary expertise is limited, particularly in rural areas. Moreover, there is a lack of awareness and training among practitioners regarding adult abuse, further complicating efforts to combat this issue. Funding is another major roadblock, as services related to elder abuse prevention and investigation are often costly and difficult to budget for.

Leveraging Technology to Combat Financial Exploitation

Considering the above challenges, addressing the financial exploitation of elders requires an innovative approach. Our FraudFindr® financial exploitation software was developed based on years of experience providing forensic accounting services for financial exploitation cases. This platform empowers law enforcement and adult protective services with forensic accounting capabilities, enabling them to more effectively investigate cases of financial exploitation.

FraudFindr’s user-friendly interface allows users to upload bank and credit card statements, answer detailed questions about the victim, and generate instant summaries of suspicious activity to guide their investigation. The platform also features a drag-and-drop report tool, making it easy for users to insert their findings seamlessly into a court-ready report.

Bonadio’s Fraud & Forensic team offers a mix of traditional services and software solutions for government agencies, attorneys, and individuals responsible for investigating financial exploitation of older and vulnerable adults. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our trusted experts to learn more.

This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.

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