Though there are many words for it such as conning or swindling, scamming has one clear definition: financial exploitation in a deceptive manner. Have you ever received a phone call or an email offering a free trip to some luxurious paradise, warning about your unpaid taxes, or threatening legal action if you fail to pay a fee to help your friend? With email, automated robocallers, and inexpensive international calling services, at some point or another most people will have received one or more fraudulent messages. In general, older adults are more likely to be targeted. Though new types of cons are always occurring and be used against anyone, the Department of Justice has identified some that are more likely to be directed at older adults.
On February 13, 2015 the Elder Justice Reauthorization Act (H.R. 988) was introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill addresses the growing problem of elder financial abuse and emphasizes the role the federal government should take in coordinating and leading state support efforts. It provides a legal framework for necessary cooperation between federal and state agencies that handle health, legal and social services.