How Maryland is fighting to protect older adults from ‘heartbreaking’ financial abuse

Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown kicked off PROTECT Week Monday, in an effort to protect the state’s elderly residents from financial exploitation.

The Office of the Attorney General of Maryland reported that one in five adults over the age of 65 have been the victims of fraud — with losses estimated at $2.9 billion a year. They can be victimized by people they know, as well as those they don’t.

“Heartbreaking abuses can occur at the hands of trusted friends and family, as well as complete strangers,” Brown said.

During PROTECT Week, which comes just before Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15,  Brown said there will be a series of events, including a virtual town hall that will include U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek Barron and Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman.

“Targeting vulnerable elderly victims is unconscionable, and PROTECT Week is a great time to learn about scams targeting older adults and how to avoid them,” Barron said in a statement.

Strategies used to separate older people from their assets include telemarketing fraud and a variety of exploitation by caregivers and service providers, including accountants and family members, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office,

The state attorney general’s office has a Consumer Protection Division that works on asset recovery on behalf of exploited adults, age 68 or older. The same division handles cases involving residents who are “vulnerable,” those who lack the physical or mental capacity to handle their own affairs.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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