Mississippi News

Secretary of State for Mississippi Recognizes World Elder Abuse Day

According to Michael Watson, Secretary of State for Mississippi, in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2024, Mississippians are urged to increase their awareness of the rising incidents of elder financial exploitation and to learn how to recognize potential warning signs.

Elder financial exploitation among those aged 60 and older is acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing forms of elder abuse. The U.S. Department of Justice categorizes elder financial exploitation into two types: financial fraud, which involves scams perpetrated by strangers such as investment, imposter, romance, and phishing scams, and financial abuse, which occurs at the hands of individuals known to the victim, such as through power of attorney abuse, theft by nursing home staff, or forgery.

Each year, elderly individuals suffer an estimated $36 billion in losses due to financial exploitation, yet only one in 24 cases is reported to authorities. Many scammers masquerade as financial professionals to exploit vulnerable elderly individuals, particularly those suffering from conditions like dementia that require full-time care, making them less able to defend themselves or report suspicious activities.

Secretary Watson expressed deep concern, stating, “It is heartbreaking to see the greatest generation targeted due to their vulnerabilities. Every citizen deserves dignity and respect, and we remain committed to safeguarding this exceptional group of Mississippians.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day forms a crucial part of Elder Abuse Awareness Month, observed throughout June.

For any inquiries or to report concerns, Mississippi residents are encouraged to contact the Securities Division at Securities.CustomerService@sos.ms.gov or call (601) 359-1334.

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